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Chum Salmon

Oncorhynchus keta

Salmon Family

Freshwater Fish Identification

Chum Salmon


Common Name(s):
Dog salmon, autumn salmon, calico salmon
Description:
Ocean fresh chum salmon are metallic greenish-blue on the dorsal surface (top) with fine black speckles. They are difficult to distinguish from sockeye and Coho salmon without examining their gills or caudal fin scale patterns. The chum has fewer but larger gillrakers than other salmon. After nearing fresh water, however, the chum salmon changes color-particularly noticeable are vertical bars of green and purple, which give them the common name, calico salmon.
Similar Fish:
Sockeye salmon, Coho salmon
Feeding Habits:
Chum fry feed on small insects in the stream before forming into schools in salt water where their diet usually consists of zooplankton and other small fish.
Range:
The chum salmon have the widest distribution of any of the Pacific salmon. They range south to the Sacramento River in California to the north in the Arctic Ocean to the Mackenzie River in Canada.
Habitat:
The chum salmon live in the Pacific and Arctic Oceans. During the spawning season the chum are known to ascend rivers for a considerable distance, some as far as 1200 miles.
Typical Size:
The chum varies in size from 4 to 30 pounds but average in weight from 7 to 18 pounds with an average length of 25 to 30 inches. They live an average of 3 to 6 years.
World Record:
35 pounds, 0 ounces (Source - IGFA)