Chum/Keta Salmon

Species Information

Chum salmon has the widest natural geographic and spawning distribution of any Pacific salmonid. Its range extends farther along the shores of the Arctic Ocean than any of the other salmonids.

Chum salmon are less prized because of light color and low fat content making them less flavorful, though for those reasons, they are the least expensive when compared to other Pacific salmons and have a longer shelf life.

Chum salmon are preyed upon as juveniles by a variety of fish and avian predators, and as adults by sharks, sea lions and seals, and orcas.

Cooking & Handling

Keep salmon as cold as possible and serve it within 2 days. Store refrigerated topped with crushed (not cubed) ice in a perforated pan set over a second pan.

Chum salmon is low in sodium, a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, and a very good source of protein, niacin, vitamin B12, and selenium.

Try recipes that allow the delicate salmon to come through and avoid accompanying flavors that overpower the fish. Salmon is often used in cold dishes such as mousses, terrines, salads, sandwiches and hors d’ oeuvres.

Flavors that work well with salmon are almond, basil, butter, chervil, cream, cucumber, dill, lemongrass, lime, mushroom, pine nut, potato, scallion, shallot, spinach, tarragon, white wine and yogurt.

Cooking Methods

Bake, Broil, Grill, Poach, Sauté

Global Supply

Japan, Russia, United States

Seasonal Availability

Frozen available year-round. Wide-ranging fresh chum, landed in the northeastern Pacific, are in season in August and September.

Did You Know?

Chum salmon grow to be among the largest of Pacific salmon, second only to Chinook salmon in adult size.

Chum is graded in several stages. Silverbrights are ocean-run fish with reddish-pink flesh and shiny silver skin. Semibrights have watermarks above the lateral line.

Chum salmon are nicknamed "dog salmon." Two possible origins for this name may be a mature male chum salmon’s extremely large head, elongated upper jaw, and prominent, canine-like teeth, or the practice of drying large quantities of this species as food for dogsled teams.

Scientific Name

Oncorhynchus keta

Market Name

Chum or keta salmon

Common Names

Dog salmon, calico salmon, chub


Other salmon, rainbow trout

Raw Characteristics

  • silvery, blue-green skin
  • orange, pink or red meat
  • market wt 6–12 lbs

Cooked Characteristics

  • mild tasting
  • pinkish-orange color
  • firm texture
  • lower oil content
  • large flake


French: saumon keta
German: keta-lachs
Italian: salmone keta
Japanese: sake
Spanish: salmon chum