About This Fish

Salmon


The salmon (Salmo salar) is also commercially known as Atlantic salmon, Sea Salmon, bay salmon, black salmon, caplin-scull salmon, fiddler, grilse, grilt, kelt, landlocked salmon, ouananiche, outside salmon, parr, Sebago salmon, silver salmon, slink, spring salmon, or winnish. It is a ray finned fish which belongs to the family Salmonidae under Order Salmoniformes of Class Actinopterygii. It is found along the Atlantic coasts of Europe, from the Barents Sea to Portugal including Iceland and Greenland.



The salmon is an anadromous fish that lives in salt water as an adult but migrates into fresh water in the spring to spawn. Body is elongated with small head and blunt snout. Body is bluish-green dorsally, silvery along the sides and white ventrally with a few black spots. The juvenile has 8-12 blue-violet spots on the flanks with little red spots. Body is covered with large scales. Dorsal fin contains 3-4 spines and 9-15 soft rays while anal fin bears 3-4 spines and 7-11 soft rays. Lateral line is single and complete which runs from the margin of operculum to the base of caudal fin. 10-13 scales are present between end of adipose fin base and lateral line. Caudal fin is slightly forked and usually unspotted with 19 rays. The young salmon is called smolt which migrates downstream to the ocean at two years of age where it feeds and grows. Smolt's diet consists of aquatic insects, mollusks, crustaceans and fish. When the salmon reaches adulthood at about three years, it becomes a voracious predator and feeds only on large prey such as squids, shrimps and fish. It is preyed upon by large fish such as tuna, swordfish, or sharks. During the spawning season, male is characterized by elongated hooked jaws that meet at the tips, thicker fins and slime covers on the body. The young remains in fresh water for 1-6 years and then migrates to coastal marine waters where it remains for 1 - 4 years before returning to freshwater for spawning. It grows up to 150 cm in length and 46.8 kg in weight. The salmon can live up to 13 years.


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