Chum Salmon

Chum Salmon
Common Name Chum Salmon
Market Name keta salmon, dog salmon, chub, calico salmon
Scientific name Oncorhynchus keta

Sourcing Summary

Size

8 lbs.

Chum salmon can be the best value on the market when the skin is bright and the meat deep red, according to some buyers. Since most chum salmon spawns near river mouths, they have lower oil content than sockeye, Chinook, or coho. Chum salmon has a mild taste, is low in sodium, and is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, niacin, vitamin B12, and selenium. Chum is graded 2-4, 4-6, 6-9, and 9 up and is readily available fresh and frozen, both H&G and fillets, but may also be canned or smoked. Like other kinds of salmon, chum quality differs greatly depending on the run. Buyers recommend learning about specific runs and their characteristics in order to identify the best salmon. The eggs are sold as ikura in Japan, where they have a high value. Buyer beware: Chum are some times sold as coho, a more expensive fish, because they are similar in size. Chum can be identified by a thinner caudal penduncle (the area just in front of the tail).

Based on average landings of chum salmon from 2012-2014 and using 2016 Seafood Watch ratings, the sustainability breakdown of North American chum salmon is as follows:

  • ~88% "Best Choice (green)" - from Alaska
  • ~7% "Good Alternative (yellow)" from Washington (more specifically Puget Sound)
  • ~5% unrated from British Columbia (although this is Ocean Wise 'Recommended')


On a global scale over the same time period, Japan and Russia account for ~80% of chum salmon production.

Product Forms

Fresh/Frozen
Fresh
Product Forms
Fillet
H&G
Portions
Fresh/Frozen
Frozen
Product Forms
Fillet
H&G
Portions

Fresh Seasonal Availability

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
nononononoyesyesyesyesyesnono

Culinary Composition

Mild

Flavor

Medium

Texture

Cooking Methods

Health/Nutrition

Nutrition facts

Serving Size: 100g
Amount per serving
Calories 120
Total Fat 4g
Cholesterol 74mg
Sodium 50mg
Carbohydrates 0g
Protein 20g
Omega-3 0.7g

Science & Management

Wild
Harvest Methods

Conservation Criteria - Wild

Impact on Stock

Chum salmon experience a rapid growth rate during their first few months at sea and reach maturity at around four years old. Although chum salmon has low fecundity and its spawning behavior makes it vulnerable to net fishing pressure, this is partially offset by the production of large eggs that the fish buries. That strategy, and the upwellings in springs and channels where chum spawn, helps it remain resilient.

Chum salmon have wide distribution in the Pacific, and historically have been the most abundant of the salmon along the coast. While some chum salmon populations were once overfished, most stocks are currently considered healthy.

Habitat impacts ( Wild)

Chums are caught with purse seine nets, gillnets, and troll gear, all of which rarely touches the seafloor so there is little lasting physical impact on the marine environment. 

Bycatch

Lost net gear used to catch chum salmon can pose an entanglement risk to marine animals, but a 2016 Seafood Watch report noted incentives for fishermen to retrieve them and called the issue a very low concern. Chum bycatch is considered moderate overall, and mostly consists of other salmon species.

Management effectiveness

The Alaskan chum salmon fishery has extensive management measures in place that include scientific monitoring, gear restrictions, bycatch reduction measures, and a limited entry program to control capacity. In California, Washington, Oregon and Washington, substantial management measures are also in place. A Seafood Watch report from 2016 noted that significant progress had been made in managing salmon along the U.S. West Coast. Despite the complicated presence of endangered species, Seafood Watch considered management of most of these salmon fisheries to be careful and highly effective.

Conservation Criteria - Farmed

Origin Method Ratings
All Other Origins All Other Fishing Methods  
Canada - British Columbia Gillnet  
Canada - British Columbia Purse Seine  
Canada - British Columbia Troll  
Russia - Iturup Island Pot/Trap  
Russia - Kamchatka Peninsula Trap Net  
Russia - Kamchatka Peninsula Beach Seine  
USA - Alaska Gillnet  
USA - Alaska Purse Seine  
USA - Alaska Troll  
USA - California Drift Gillnet  
USA - California Purse Seine  
USA - California Troll  
USA - Oregon Drift Gillnet  
USA - Oregon Purse Seine  
USA - Oregon Troll  
USA - Washington Troll  
USA - Washington (Coastal Rivers) Drift Gillnet  
USA - Washington (Puget Sound) Drift Gillnet  
USA - Washington (Puget Sound) Purse Seine  
Name Country State / Province
7 Seas Fish Co., Ltd. Canada British Columbia
Alaska Peninsula Fisherman's Co-op United States Washington
Alaska Troll Caught LLC United States Alaska
Albion Farms & Fisheries Canada British Columbia
Alcatraz Bay Seafoods United States California
Allseas Fisheries Corp. Canada Ontario
American Fish & Seafood Company United States California
Annette Island Packing Company United States Alaska
Aqua Star United States Washington
Aqualine Seafoods Ltd. Canada British Columbia
B&C Food Distributors Canada British Columbia
Barlean's Fishery, Inc. United States Washington
Blue North Inc. United States Washington
Blue North Trading Company, LLC. United States Washington
Blundell Seafoods Canada British Columbia
Bornstein Seafoods Inc. United States Oregon
C2C Premium Seafood Canada British Columbia
Calkins & Burke Canada British Columbia
Canadian Fishing Company Canada British Columbia
Cape Greig, LLC. United States Washington
Centennial Foodservice Canada Alberta
Channel Fish Processing Company, Inc. United States Massachusetts
Channel Seafoods International United States Florida
CleanFish United States California
Clipper Ship, Inc. United States Washington
Coal Point Seafood Company United States Alaska
Coastal Villages Seafoods, LLC United States Alaska
Coffee Point Seafoods of Washington, LLC United States Washington
Deep Sea Fisheries, Inc United States Washington
Dole & Bailey Inc. United States Massachusetts
E&E Foods, LLC. United States Washington
E.C. Phillips & Son, Inc. United States Alaska
Ed's Kasilof Seafoods United States Alaska
Euclid Fish Company United States Ohio
Export Packers Company Limited Canada Ontario
F/V Miss Mary Inc United States Washington
Flurer Smokery Ltd. Canada British Columbia
Fortune Fish & Gourmet United States Illinois
Halperns' Purveyors of Steak and Seafood United States Georgia
Henry & Lisa's Natural Seafood / EcoFish, Inc. United States New Hampshire
Icicle Seafoods, Inc. United States Washington
Icy Strait Seafoods, Inc United States Washington
Ilwaco Landing LLC United States Washington
J&B Sales Co, LLC United States Washington
J.J. McDonnell United States Maryland
John Nagle Co. United States Massachusetts
Kodiak Island WildSource United States Alaska
Kwik'pak Fisheries, LLC. United States Alaska
L&L International Inc. United States California
Lions Gate Fisheries, Ltd. Canada British Columbia
Lotus Seafood Inc. United States California
Lusamerica Foods, Inc. United States California
Maximum Seafood Canada Ontario
Nakeen Homepack, LLC. United States Alaska
Northeast Seafood Products, Inc. United States Colorado
Northern Lakes Seafood & Meats United States Michigan
Northern Products Corporation United States Washington
Northport Fisheries Inc. United States Washington
Northwest Fresh Seafood Company United States Oregon
Norton Sound Enterprises United States Washington
Nova Fisheries/SunWave Processors United States Washington
Ocean Beauty Seafoods LLC United States Washington
Orca Bay Seafoods, Inc. United States Washington
Organic Ocean Seafood Inc. Canada British Columbia
Pacific Harvest Seafood, Inc. United States Washington
Pacific Harvest Seafoods United States California
Pacific Seafood Group, Inc. United States Oregon
Pacific Star Seafoods, Inc. United States Alaska
Pickled Willy's United States Alaska
Pike Place Fish Market United States Washington
Profish Ltd. United States District of Columbia
Raw Seafoods United States Massachusetts
Red River Seafood Company LLC United States Florida
Royal Hawaiian Seafood United States California
Sea Agra Seafood Ltd. Canada British Columbia
Sea to Table, USA United States New York
Seacore Seafood Inc. Canada Ontario
Seafood Producers Cooperative United States Washington
Seattle Caviar Co. United States Washington
Seattle Fish Company United States Colorado
Seattle Fish Company of New Mexico United States New Mexico
Select Gourmet Foods Inc. United States Washington
SHS, LLC. United States Colorado
Sitka Salmon Shares United States Illinois
Slade Gorton & Co Inc. United States Massachusetts
Sleeping Giant Inc. United States Washington
SOGDA Limited, Inc. United States Washington
Stikine Seafoods United States Alaska
Stonegate Foods, Inc. United States California
Tai Foong USA United States Washington
Taku Fisheries / Smokeries United States Alaska
Taku River Reds United States Alaska
Thalassa Seafoods Belgium
The Auction Block Co. United States Alaska
The Fish Guys Inc. United States Minnesota
The Fishin' Company United States Pennsylvania
The Salmon Hookup United States Alaska
Tonka Seafoods, Inc. United States Alaska
Tradex Foods Inc. Canada British Columbia
Trident Seafoods Corp. United States Washington
Vita Food Products United States Illinois
Wild Alaska Salmon and Seafood Company United States Alaska
Willowfield Enterprises Ltd. Canada British Columbia
Worldwide Seafoods (1997) Ltd. Canada British Columbia
ZF America United States Washington