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Thread: Fish I.D. Chum Salmon - Oncorhynchus keta

  1. Post Fish I.D. Chum Salmon - Oncorhynchus keta

    Chum Salmon Oncorhynchus keta

    A.k.A. Names: Dog salmon, Keta salmon
    Family: Salmonidae
    Range: Oregon, North to Bering Strait Alaska, Bering Sea Regions
    I.D. Tips: Large teeth, vertical color bars, hooked bottom and top jaw
    Run Timing: appears in tidewater from October to November, runs through December
    Travel: Travels in small groups, moves with haste through center of stream
    Holding: Drifts, pools, often lies near the front of shallow holes
    Spawning Preference: Gravel side channels and shallow riffs, spawns through December, spawns close to tidewater in small streams
    Spawning Color: Multi colored Vetical bars, red, green, white, black and yellow all possible in mix
    Average Adult Size: 6 to 14 Lbs - Larger in Alaska and Canada

    Please Keep Native Salmon & Steelhead in Water While Releasing Them!

    Fresh or Bright Female Chum Salmon


    Fresh or Bright Male Chum Salmon


    Male Chum Salmon Head


    The Chum salmon [Oncorhynchus keta] is most easily identified by the multi colored verticlal bars that extend from the gill plates back to the beginning of the tail. Chum salmon have unusually large teeth that often appear to hook backwards in to the mouth. A hooked jaw on both top and bottom is common in males. These tidal salmon move in with larger tides in late October or November often spawning just above the head of tidewater. Chum salmon darken faster than the other four species of Pacific salmon. They can often appear to be dark and past prime while still holding sea lice, not long after entering. This suggests that chum salmon can turn to spawning color in a span of 48 hours or less once in freshwater - see photo below.

    Sea Lice on Darkening Chum Salmon


    Chum Salmon Male 6 to 24 Hours in Freshwater


    Chum Salmon Male 24 to 48 Hours in Freshwater

    photos: Matthew Clark, Ed Fast



    photo: Seattle Times

    Chum Salmon Links & Resources


    Fish I.D. Pages SSSF



    Angler Fights Chum Salmon in Tillamook Oregon



    Last edited by KingSalmon Admin; 03-11-2011 at 11:14 PM.
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