I was at a small creek that feeds the Puget Sound the other day to check out the chum salmon run. It was quite a sight to see hundreds of “dog” salmon running up the creek to spawn. When they are in spawning mode, chum salmon develop their characteristic purple and black bars and the males will grow big canine teeth (which is why they are also called “dog” salmon). In the next few weeks, local streams will be littered with moldy salmon carcasses to the delight of the fish, birds and mammals that are fattening up on them for the winter.
Puget Sound chum salmon will return to their native streams anywhere from August to as late as January depending on the stream. When I see chum salmon spawning I know that winter is around the corner.