The Vision

Hood Canal summer chum salmon populations are showing substantial improvement in abundance, productivity, and geographic distribution. The core subpopulations, Snow/Salmon Creeks, Quilcene, and Union Rivers are considered robust with all of them increasing in abundance. Genetic diversity is improving across the Evolutionarily Significant Unit. Restoring geographic distribution is a priority focus, particularly in watersheds along eastern Hood Canal, to ensure population resiliency.

Broad-Sense Recovery in Hood Canal

The goal of the Hood Canal summer chum recovery plan is to recover summer chum to healthy, harvestable levels, called broad-sense recovery. To achieve broad-sense recovery, populations must be overall at low risk of extinction. Summer chum return around the same time as hatchery Chinook and coho salmon intended for harvest. Robust summer chum populations allow more fishing effort for the hatchery salmon without increasing risks to summer chum.

Hood Canal 1

Habitat Degradation

The region assesses habitat needs in priority areas to determine which of the recovery plan’s proposed actions have been met. The analysis ensures that the habitat in these areas is being created and maintained. The region’s goal is to ensure that quality habitat exists for the species into the future.

Mitigating impacts of the Hood Canal Floating Bridge and addressing impacts of U.S. Route 101 on Hood Canal and the eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca estuaries are top priorities currently.

Climate Change

Providing greater genetic diversity, restored geographic distribution, and abundant, high-quality habitat will increase the population’s resilience to the effects of climate change. For summer chum to adapt to changing conditions, it is even more important to have high-quality habitat protected.


Hatcheries have grown fish to supplement native stocks, increasing the number of summer chum and their geographic distribution throughout the region. Further analysis of chum in the West Kitsap Diversity Unit (Dewatto and Tahuya Rivers and Big Beef Creek) will determine if additional hatchery fish are needed.

Background: Salmon recovery in Washington is driven by regional salmon recovery plans. The recovery plans provide the actions and rationale for where to invest and when. Each region reports on the actions implemented related to what is recommended in the regional recovery plan. The information about recovery plan implementation is grounded in the regional organizations’ extensive knowledge of recovery issues and recovery progress.