The peamouth, or peamouth chub, is a native minnow of the Pacific Northwest that reaches over a foot in length and a pound in weight. It has two diverging longitudinal stripes on its sides, and is otherwise a steel-gray color with silvery sides and a white belly. Male peamouths exhibit vivid red breeding coloration, especially around the gills and mouth. Peamouths have very small mouths and feed mainly on small insect larvae, filling the niche occupied by the mountain whitefish in other areas. Good baits for peamouths include small pieces of redworm or shrimp, tiny doughballs, and insect larvae. All should be presented on a #14 or smaller hook.
Peamouths may make several spawning runs per year, and the timing is not fully understood. These spawning runs are an impressive natural spectacle. The brightly colored fish crowd into areas of warm, shallow, flowing water in impressive numbers, attracting fish-eating predators from far and wide. The dense schools of fish and exhuberent splashing can be fun to watch.The city of Bellevue, WA even has an online alert system to inform people when the peamouths appear in their local streams. Volunteer members of the elite "Peamouth Patrol" submit reports to the city so that other residents can show up to observe the spectacle, receiving an email whenever the fish are spotted.