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Chum Salmon Oncorhynchus keta


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Chum Salmon
credit: PDH

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Alternate name: Dog Salmon

Family: Salmonidae, Trouts view all from this family

Description The chum salmon, Oncorhynchus keta, is a species of anadromous fish in the salmon family. It is a Pacific salmon, and may also be known as dog salmon or Keta salmon, and is often marketed under the name Silverbrite salmon. The name Chum salmon comes from the Chinook Jargon term tzum, meaning "spotted" or "marked", while "Keta" comes from the Evenki language of Eastern Siberia via Russian.

They have an ocean coloration of silvery blue green. When adults are near spawning, they have purple blotchy streaks near the caudal fin. Spawning males typically grow an elongated snout or kype and have enlarged teeth. Some researchers speculate these characteristics are used to compete for mates.

Dimensions Up to 3'4" (1 m); 35 lb (16 kg).

Endangered Status The Chum Salmon is on the U.S. Endangered Species List. Naturally spawned populations in the Columbia River drainage and naturally spawned summer-run populations in the Hood Canal and its tributaries and in Olympic Peninsula rivers between Hood Canal and Dungeness Bay are classified as threatened in Oregon and Washington. The Columbia River catch of Chum Salmon declined from 700,000 fish in 1928 to 10,000 fish in the 1950s. Habitat destruction, the building of hydroelectric dams on migratory rivers, overfishing, and competition with introduced fish are the main threats to the salmon of the Pacific Northwest.

Habitat Rivers & streams, Estuaries, tidal flats & salt marshes, Ocean or bay shallows.

Range California, Northwest, Western Canada, Alaska.