Why are Chum so Green in Saltwater?

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Speedbird 48
Petty Officer
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat May 23, 2020 9:11 am

Why are Chum so Green in Saltwater?

Post by Speedbird 48 » Wed Nov 18, 2020 5:21 pm

I was fishing my favorite Sea Run Cutty beach only to be surprised by not one, but two male Chum Salmon holding right where the creek meets the beach. After a few minutes of fishing, I looked over the beach to see another fish slowly making its way to the creek. The thing that surprised me was that it was dark. It looked to me what I would expect a fish to look like after several days in the freshwater. I have even seen photos of Green Goblin Chum caught trolling in the saltwater. I always thought the freshwater is what causes the biological changes? Is that not so for Chum? Or do all small creek salmon turn before leaving the salt?

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BentRod
Admiral
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Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 7:59 am
Location: Issaquah

Re: Why are Chum so Green in Saltwater?

Post by BentRod » Tue Nov 24, 2020 6:12 am

It's the hormones that dictate the physical change, not the water. Salmon that wait too long to go up into the fresh water will still change in the salt. That's why you start to see hook nosed Coho or humped up Pinks in the salt later during that run. Seems like MOST salmon make it into fresh water before they really start to change, but not all. Hope that helps.

Speedbird 48
Petty Officer
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat May 23, 2020 9:11 am

Re: Why are Chum so Green in Saltwater?

Post by Speedbird 48 » Wed Nov 25, 2020 5:26 pm

BentRod wrote:
Tue Nov 24, 2020 6:12 am
It's the hormones that dictate the physical change, not the water. Salmon that wait too long to go up into the fresh water will still change in the salt. That's why you start to see hook nosed Coho or humped up Pinks in the salt later during that run. Seems like MOST salmon make it into fresh water before they really start to change, but not all. Hope that helps.
That makes a lot of sense, thanks

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