Chum Salmon commonly known as Dog Salmon, are widely found throughout the Pacific and can range as far south as the Sacramento River as well as over to the island of Kyushu in the Sea of Japan. In the northern pacific, they range far east in the Arctic Ocean reaching the Mackenzie River in Canada and as far west as the Lena River in Siberia.
About Chum Salmon Fishing
Chum salmon are abundant and commercially harvested the most out of the salmon species in arctic, northwestern, and Interior Alaska, but are of relatively less sought in other areas of the state. There they are known locally as “dog salmon” and are a traditional source of dried fish for winter use.
General Chum Salmon Identification
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. Chum have 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. The males develop the typical hooked snout of Pacific salmon and very large teeth which partially account for their other name of dog salmon. The females have a dark horizontal band along the lateral line; their green and purple vertical bars are not so obvious.