Chum Salmon feed on pretty much the same things as other fish. They eat insects and marine invertebrates while in rivers.

When they mature, their diet changes as they are larger and in the ocean. Here, they eat copepods, which are tiny crustaceans and small fish including herring, mollusks, squid and tunicates. Tunicates are sea worms.

Overlapping Diet With Other Salmon

Chum Salmon’s diet is pretty identical to that of sockeye, chum, pink and chinook salmon.

However, other salmon species will eat many more insects as they spend more of their life in river habitats. Chum Salmon are either in the river when they are born or when they spawn at which point they will also die soon after.

Bering Sea Food Preferences

The abundance of hyperiid amphipods, squid and gelatinous zooplankton has a direct correlation to the amount and size of Chum Salmon.

Furthermore, the greater the size of their prey, the greater the abundance of larger Chum Salmon that have been reported.

Young Chum Salmon have a preference for gelatinous zooplankton because it is easy to digest.

Pacific Herring spawning Cycle

Pacific herring prefer spawning locations in sheltered bays and estuaries. Knowing their location is beneficial because Chum Salmon, like all predators, follow the bait fish.

The Herring are known to appear in numbers along much of the North American Pacific coast. Some top spots include San Francisco Bay, Richardson Bay, Tomales Bay, Humboldt Bay and Vancouver.

The herring migrate from the ocean to bay areas and estuaries in November or December, which coincides with the end of the Pacific Salmon spawning period.

The herring will spend about a couple of weeks congregating in the deeper channels before they enter shallower inter-tidal or sub-tidal waters.