All About Keta/Chum Salmon

Oncorhynchus keta

i love blue sea now carries all five species of wild Pacific salmon, each unique in look and taste.

In honor of this amazing fish, our All About Salmon Series will highlight each species, this one dedicated to Chum, or Keta Salmon.

The name 'Keta' comes from the Nanai people of modern-day Siberia. Keta salmon are also referred to as Chum and Dogs for their canine-like teeth.

Historically, wild Pacific salmon spawned (hatched) in every river from Los Angeles to Alaska. Today, Alaska and the Pacific Northwest are most known for their salmon populations. Salmon belong to the genus Oncorhynchus—the Greek translation describing the hooked lower jaw of male salmon during mating season.

Keta have the largest natural range of any Pacific salmon. Their flesh color varies from white to pink to red, and their naturally drier meat makes them well suited for smoking. Keta utilize the lower tributaries of the watershed, spawning in small streams and intertidal zones.

The last of the salmon species to spawn in their season, from November to January, Keta die about two weeks after their return to freshwater. Two populations of Keta have been listed as threatened or endangered.

Keta undergo the longest migration of all the Pacific salmon species.

Salmon are high-maintenance fish when it comes to their habitat needs. Spending one to three years in freshwater, they need a clean, cool, productive estuarian environment with vegetation and woody debris for camouflage, shelter, and foraging habitats. Adult salmon also need healthy saltwater habitats. In the open ocean they acquire the strength needed to travel back upstream, escape predators, and spawn before dying.

Salmon have beautifully complex life cycles, and by purchasing wild Pacific salmon, we support responsible fisheries and healthy water management to ensure that they thrive for generations to come.

Keta salmon are integral to the Pacific Northwest's cuisine and history.

i love blue sea is dedicated to rewarding salmon fishermen and women, like our partners at Loki Fish Co, for their sustainable fishing practices.

Whether smoked, canned, baked, or served raw sashimi-style, we can personally attest that all 5 are delicious.

Posted Feb 17th by Danielle