Salmo salar

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Least Concern Species of least concern


Species spending most of its life in freshwater. Inhabits rocky runs and pools of small to large rivers and lakes. Pelagic at sea, or in large lakes, foraging mostly occurs in surface layers. Found in all rivers where temperature rises above 10° C for about 3 months per year and does not exceed 20° C for more than a few weeks in summer. Adults inhabit cooler waters with strong to moderate flow. Young remain in freshwater for 1 to 6 years, then migrate to the ocean where they remain for 1 to 4 years before returning to freshwater. Juveniles and resident stream populations live in riffles of fast-flowing, moderately cold streams and rivers. Juveniles may live in cold lakes in northern Europe. Spawns in rivers and streams with swift flowing water and succession of riffles and pools, usually at tail of pools in gravel. Maturing individuals are found on the continental plate west of Greenland. Adults return to the river of their origin to spawn, then return to sea after spawning. Some die after spawning but most survive to spawn on the next spawning cycle. Juveniles feed mainly on aquatic insects, mollusks, crustaceans and fish; adults at sea feed on squids, shrimps, and fish. Larger salmon feed on fishes such as herring, smelts, capelin, small mackerel, sand lance and small cod. Adults in freshwater which are approaching the reproductive stage do not feed. Growth in freshwater is slow whereas very rapid in the sea. Marketed fresh, dried or salted, smoked, and frozen; eaten steamed, fried, broiled, cooked in microwave, and baked.Threatened due to water pollution, damming and overfishing. Most populations depend mostly or exclusively on stocking due to degradations of environmental conditions. Fishing pressure on wild stocks has decreased due to intensive farming.


Atlantic Ocean: temperate and arctic zones in northern hemisphere. In western Atlantic Ocean distributed in coast drainages from northern Quebec in Canada to Connecticut in USA. Landlocked stocks are present in North America. Eastern Atlantic Ocean: Atlantic, North, White, Barents and Baltic Sea basins from Minho (Portugual, Spain) to Kara drainages (Kara Sea, Western Siberia). Present in Iceland and in northernmost rivers of Great Britain and Scandinavia. Landlocked populations known from souther Finland, Lakes Vanern (Sweden), Lagoda, Onega, some small lakes in Vyg and Kem drainages, White Sea basin (Russia) and from souther Norway. Introduced to New Zealand, Chile, southern Argentina and Australia.

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Credits: Fishbase, Sealifebase, Aquamaps



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