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Chum Salmon

Chum Salmon Flavor Scale

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Wild Chum Salmon

Fresh wild Chum Salmon, also called Keta Salmon, has a milder flavor and is more lean than Coho, Sockeye and King Salmon.  But it still has enough firmness and oil content to lend itself to a wide variety of cooking applications.

Chum (Keta) Salmon Flavor Profile

Chum Salmon have light pink to orange colored flesh which is lighter than Chinook, Sockeye and Coho.  The texture is more firm and coarse than the other salmon and Chum has a milder flavor.

  • Bake
  • Broil
  • Deep-Fry
  • Grill
  • Poach
  • Saute
  • Smoke
  • Steam
  • Sushi

Alternate Names

Keta, Dog Salmon, Calico Salmon, Chub, Fall Salmon, Silverbright, Dark Chum, Qualla, River Chum.

Description Oncorhynchus keta)

Commercial Chum Salmon range from 6 - 12 lbs but can grow to about 20 pounds.  They have a steel-blue color and instead of spots they can have larger black splotches on their body and no spots on the tail. Chum have large scales and a their eyes have large pupil.

Spawning Chum have an olive-green to brown back with vertical red-purple bands on their sides.  Follow the link for a video on how to identify species of salmon.

The highest quality Chums are ocean-run fish and are frequently called "Silverbrights" due to their silvery sheen. The second quality grade of Chum have watermarked skin and are grouped together as "Semibrights". They go by various names including: Calico Chum, Dark Chum, Fall Chum, River Chum and Qualla.

 Chum Salmon
 Image courtesy of BCSalmon.ca


Fresh Chum (Keta) Salmon Availability

Fresh seafood availability chart: green areas show peak availability, light green show limited availability, gray indicates not available fresh.  Frozen available all year long.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec


Chum Salmon Butchering Yield %

ItemTo Skin/On FilletsTo Skin/Off FilletsNotes
Whole Head/On gutted
68% - 70% 63%  
Skin/On Fillets -- 85% If you have additional yield info on this fish please leave a comment below.
Yield % varies according to a number of factors including: size of fish, season, sex, and the skill of your fishmonger.


Range & Habitat

Chum Salmn are a very wide ranging Pacific Salmon.  They are commercially caught from southern California and southern Japan to the Mackenzie River in the Arctic Ocean.

Typical Wholesale Products

Head/On Dressed, Head/Off Dressed, Fillets, Steaks

Chum Salmon Range & Location
AquaMaps     Data sources: GBIF

Chum Salmon Sustainability Info

NameAlternate NamesCatch MethodCatch
Chum Keta, Dog Salmon, Calico Salmon, Chub, Fall Salmon, Silverbright Wild - Drift Gillnet, Purse Seine, Troll

US - Alsaka Green-icon_20.png Green-icon_20.png Green-icon_20.png Low
US - WA Yellow-icon_20.png Red-Dot_20.png Yellow-icon_20.png
US - CA, OR Yellow-icon_20.png Red-Dot_20.png Yellow-icon_20.png
Canada   Green-icon_20.png Yellow-icon_20.png
Roe Ikura Wild - Drift Gillnet, Purse Seine, Troll US - Alsaka Green-icon_20.png n/a Green-icon_20.png Low
Canada n/a n/a Yellow-icon_20.png
Disclaimer: The sustainability info above is accurate to the best of our knowledge. However, each program randomly updates their information without our knowledge. We therefore recommend that you verify the current accuracy of this information.

 Green-icon_20.png = Best Choice/Recommended     Yellow-icon_20.png = Good Alternative     Red-Dot_20.png = Avoid/Not Recommended
August 2013

 There is some discrepancy in BlueOcean.org's info for Chum Salmon. On one page for fish from WA it lists the species as yellow "Good Alternative", and on another page it is listed as green "Best Choice". Upon diving into the details it appears that the page with a yellow rating is lumping all 5 Pacific species together, while the page with a green rating is evaluating only Chum Salmon.


Nutritional Information

based upon a 6 oz (171 grams) raw edible serving


* Calories/Calories from fat 206
* Protein grams  34.4
* Fat grams  6.5
* Saturated fat grams  1.4
* Sodium milligrams  86
* Cholesterol milligrams  127
* Omega-3 grams  1.2
more Chum Salmon nutrition info


Additional Resources:
  National Marine Fisheries Service  



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David Buchanan is a professional chef and author of Chefs-Resources.com, a site geared towards providing chefs and culinarians useful info to help in their kitchens.
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