Chum Spawner Salmon Release

Fall 2023 Chum Spawner Salmon Pilot Project

On November 27, 2023,  50 pairs of Chum Spawners, surplus fish from the Chehalis hatchery, were released by DFO personnel into the Miami River at the Maple Street Canoe Launch. About 45 people including the Grade 5-6 Class for HHSES observed. The students all had clip boards and after the release stayed behind to make notes on the fish and the river.  A northern River Otter lurked upriver to observe or maybe to make a meal of some of the chum.
The Chum release is the second year of a pilot project. Chum are big strong fish that can sniff out gravel hiding under the silt and help expose it. Next Spring's fry will imprint on the Miami and should return here in four years.
Please send any sightings to us at Tell us where  (see site names below) , when and what the Chum were doing - swimming, digging, chasing, resting- how many and  comment on the water level  and turbidity.

Sample Submission:

November 30, 2023, 9:30 AM / Joe Harrison /  location #4- McCombs Road Eagle Street Bridge / 4 C, cloudy   - 4 Chum spawners under Bridge at site # 3 (McCombs Road Spirit Trail Bridge).  Appear to be digging up the gravel and chasing each other. The water was a bit murky, with  some brownish orange sediment on the gravel and was quite shallow with a gravel bar exposed.

Site Names:

#1-HHS Old Settler Bridge

#2- HHS Lori’s Diner Bridge

#3- McCombs Road Spirit Trail Bridge

#4- McCombs Road Eagle Street Bridge

#5- Ruth Altendorf Bridge

#6- Fred Hardy Bridge

#7- Maple Street Canoe Launch

#8- HHS Resort Parking Lot Bridge

#9 - Mouth of the Miami inside the floodgates (southeast side of the dyke)

#10 - Earthwise Agassiz

The MRSS is keeping an eye on the beaver dam up by Lori's Diner to see if the salmon can jump over or whether it  impedes them.

Fall 2022  Chum Spawner Salmon Pilot Project

Agassiz-Harrison Observer  Dec. 10, 2022  - Adam Louis

50 pairs of chum spawning salmon were recently released into the Miami River as part of a project to protect and increase local salmon numbers. (Photo/MRSS)

50 pairs of chum spawner salmon have been released into the Miami River, thanks to local conservationists.

The Miami River Streamkeepers Society is assisting the Department of Fisheries and Oceans with a chum salmon enhancement pilot project along the Miami River. They recently released 100 salmon, which were surplus fish from the Chehalis hatchery.

The fish were transported in big tanks on a flatbed truck to be let loose at the Harrison Hot Springs canoe launch site. Hatchery employees and the local DFO community advisor handled the release while several community members, including Harrison Hot Springs mayor Ed Wood, stood by to observe.

The hardy chum salmon should be able to clean up some of the gravel in the Miami River system and create a more ideal environment for the fish. The adult spawners are being released this time rather than salmon fry, or baby salmon, because adult fish may integrate themselves more easily into the ecosystem and there will be less influence from the hatchery on their genetics.

Streamkeepers are always monitoring the chum for successful spawning. Their efforts have reaped rewards across the area as pairs of salmon have been spotted spawning from the local floodgates down to the Myng Crescent area toward the south end of the village.

The MRSS is always accepting sighting reports from the public. Go to to report your observations.

The MRSS is a group of volunteers advocating for the enhancement, protection and beautification of the Miami River. Their work includes restoring bank and riparian habitat, monitoring water quality and reducing pollutants and invasive species.

For more information about MRSS and their chum enhancement project, visit them on Facebook at

Getting ready to release the chum

Releasing the Chum

Chum spawning in Miami River gravel

The vision of Miami River Streamkeepers Society is to restore the Miami River through an ongoing revitalization program.

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