Migrating fish such as salmonids are affected by external environmental factors and salinity changes are particularly important, influencing spawning migration. The aim of this study was to test whether changes in salinity would affect the expression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis hormones (gonadotropin-releasing hormones (GnRHs) [salmon GnRH and chicken GnRH-II], GnRH receptors [GnRHR1 and GnRHR5], and mRNA of the gonadotropin hormone [GTH] subunits [GTHα, follicle stimulating hormone β, and luteinizing hormone β]) in chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta). Fish were progressively transferred from seawater (SW) through 50% SW to freshwater (FW), and the relationship between the osmoregulatory hormone prolactin (PRL) and sexual maturation was determined. The expression and activity of HPG hormones and their receptors, and levels of estradiol-17β and PRL increased after fish were transferred to FW, demonstrating that changes in salinity stimulate the HPG axis and PRL production in migrating chum salmon. These findings reveal details about the role of the endocrine system in maintaining homeostasis and stimulating sexual maturation and reproduction in response to salinity changes in this species.