Chum salmon were likely the second most abundant anadromous fish species in the river, numbering in the several thousands. They are considered a native, wild-origin stock, though a hatchery program did exist from 1975 through 1985. The status of Elwha chum salmon is considered critical, numbering in the low hundreds, at most. The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe (LEKT) has carried out a preservation program since 1994.
There is no harvest of chum salmon in the Elwha River.
A summary of the Elwha River chum salmon restoration strategies includes:
- Release of smolts from the hatchery
- Planting of fertilized eggs at locations throughout the lower and middle Elwha basin
- Natural spawning of adults
- Distribution of fry to upstream locations