Chum Salmon

Chum Salmon, Oncorhynchus keta, a big feisty fish with with a good reputation with anglers.

One of the last species to enter the river systems, Chum Salmon are easily distinguished by their unique markings. Also known as Dog Salmon, these big fish change quite drastically as the near they spawning grounds. The males Kipe, or snout, becomes quite elongated with large protruding teeth. Their bodies become prominantly marked with yellow and purple bars and markings. Most Chum spawn in the lower reaches of rivers, even intertidal areas in some places, but they also have one of the longest migrations of all salmon, the 3200 km swim up the Yukon River. Vast numbers of fry exit the rivers in spring virtually right after becoming free swimming. They commonly join up with Pink Salmon fry and form huge schools in the river mouths and ocean shorelines nearby. Thousands of seabirds can usually be seen at this time of year feasting on the out migrating salmon fry. Photographing these amazing chum salmon underwater is a challenge but the rewards are great. Once they get used to you they are very active and put on quite a show with their sparring and territorial behavior.

Pin It on Pinterest