Salmon, Chum – Washington State
Chum Salmon is an anadromous fish, meaning it migrates from freshwaters to ocean waters to feed for several years and then back to freshwaters to reproduce. They are found in the North Pacific Ocean, with many distinct reproductive populations occurring along the coasts of North America and Asia. They reach sexual maturity between 3-5 years and have a short life span, reproducing only once and then dying.
In Washington State, Chum Salmon abundance is at healthy level for many populations. However, some Chum Salmon populations are at critically low abundance levels and considered threatened with extinction. Fishing for Chum Salmon is only allowed on healthy populations.
Chum Salmon are caught upon their return to coastal waters to reproduce, primarily with drift gillnets and purse seines. These gear types have minimal habitat impacts and low bycatch, but some threatened/endangered salmon species can be caught.