Last updated on June 1st, 2023 at 10:23 am
Atlantic salmon is a species of fish in the family Salmonidae. It occurs in different color variations, including pink, gray, and black. Atlantic salmon have long dorsal fins with dark spots on them that are called “scales.”
These scales help to camouflage these fishes as they swim along the bottom of rivers or near seagrass beds. Atlantic salmon have a pink to red color on the underside of their soft lobes, called “scapulars.”
When they are born, these fishes have a dark brown to black color with faint spots. The scales on their back get lighter as the salmon grow up and turn into the adult version of this species.
Atlantic salmon spawn in streams after which they die. Females lay eggs that hatch within hours or days later if there is enough water flow from currents or other sources.
Atlantic salmon, unlike Pacific salmon, cannot survive in freshwater; they need to go into the ocean or a saltwater river if they want to live. They are born with an eye that is blue and contains pigment from both parents which fade as these fish get older. The male has a dark spot on their nose called a “kype.”
Atlantic salmon are considered an endangered species. Several human activities including pollution, dams, and habitat destruction have caused these fish to be threatened with extinction in some parts of the world.
What is Atlantic salmon?
Atlantic salmon is a type of fish that is found in the Atlantic ocean. They can grow to be very large and weigh up to 70kgs but can also be small at just 20cm. When they spawn, females will lay eggs and males will fertilize them before both die soon afterward. These eggs then hatch into fry which lives on the bottom of the ocean and feed on a variety of plankton.
Origin and distribution
The Atlantic salmon has a wide range of habitats but is most common in the colder freshwater streams and rivers. The native habitat for this species is found on both coasts of North America—from as far north as Alaska to South Florida.
It also occurs in some lakes and saltwater estuaries. Atlantic salmon have been introduced to other parts of the world, including some eastern Asian countries.
This is a type of salmon that spawns in fresh water and migrates to saltwater for feeding purposes; it then returns back upstream for spawning. This species has been introduced into various lakes throughout North America, as well as Europe and Asia.
Although they can be found in many different types of water, they are most commonly found in the colder freshwater streams and rivers.
The Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) is the species of interest. It’s a type of anadromous fish because it resides in both salt and freshwater, such as rivers that lead to the oceans where they spawn during their adult stage. They are found all over Norway except for three fjords: Saltfjorden, Storfjorden, and Kommafjorden. The average length of an adult male is 60 cm (24 in) while females are slightly larger at 70cm (28in).
Color and appearance
The color of Atlantic salmon is variable, from pale silver to dark brown or olive green. The fish has five large black spots on its back in a slightly irregular pattern and smaller black dots scattered over the rest of its body.
Salmon start out as silvery blue-green with darker stripes near the belly when they are about twelve inches long. As they grow, the color moves up their body to about five inches as it turns silver-green with scattered black dots and dark lines on its sides.
The salmon’s scales are large, thick, and heavy which helps them swim against ocean currents more easily than most fish can do. They also have a dorsal fin that is notched and a long anal fin that is dark with white along the front edge.
Atlantic salmon have no scales on their head so they can not be identified as Atlantic salmon by this method alone.
Salmons are easily scared and startled, which makes them difficult to catch in certain areas of rivers where they swim too fast or deep.
Atlantic salmon found in what habitat?
At the western edge of their range, Atlantic salmon are found in rivers and streams as far south as Pennsylvania. They spawn primarily on gravel beds alongside steep cascades or where pools form high upriver from large waterfalls.
For the majority of its range, including throughout most of Canada and Alaska, Atlantic salmon prefer to swim in estuaries and saltwater bays near the coast.
In Greenland, these fish are found in rivers as well but also spend time swimming in the open ocean before returning to freshwater streams when they spawn.
Size and Weight
Atlantic salmon are relatively large fish and can range anywhere from 600 to 700 grams (21 oz) in weight. The average size is usually between 500g-600g making them a great option for people looking to try new foods!
The life cycle of an Atlantic salmon is fairly complicated. First, the eggs are laid by a female in freshwater from late July to early September and then left unattended until they hatch. Second, after hatching, the fry must migrate downstream as soon as possible before mortality rates increase during their first winter months.
The next step is to grow and survive in saltwater before returning to freshwater. The last stage of the life cycle is called reproduction, where both males and females reach sexual maturity when they’re about three years old.
Are they peaceful or aggressive?
Salmons are generally considered to be a peaceful, timid species. They’re not too territorial and don’t attack other fish or animals that they come across in the wild – unless they feel that their territory is being threatened.
Salmon typically live on the ocean side so you won’t find them near lakes, rivers, or streams (although some do migrate to these habitats as adults).
In areas where they are not endangered or threatened, salmon do well in the wild and can live up to 13 years old. In some parts of their habitat, certain types of salmon compete for food with other fish species such as trout.
They also mingle with migrating birds who eat them while on their way south.
General care information
What they eat
Salmon eat smaller fish, crustaceans, and zooplankton. They also feed at the bottom of streams to find prey such as insects or worms.
If you choose this option, make sure they have plenty of room because Atlantic salmon can grow up to six feet long!
Salmon do not live in freshwater; they are anadromous fish. They swim up streams to spawn (usually around the same time every year) but spend their lives swimming near or in saltwater. It is important for them to return back into freshwater because this makes it easier for them to lay eggs and for their offspring to make it upstream.
This means that they are vulnerable not only when swimming up rivers, but also while returning back into saltwater—hundreds of miles from the nearest river. And this is not just any old ocean; these fish swim through a current called the Gulf Stream which carries them past many hazards including oil rigs, fishing nets, and storms.
The water conditions in the Gulf Stream determine how long it takes for a salmon to make his return journey back into freshwater, as well as which route he will take on the way back. There are three types of salmons that swim through this region: grilse (young-of-the-year), spring salmon, and king (or chinook) salmon.
The Atlantic salmon is anadromous: they hatch in freshwater, migrate to the ocean (or large lake), then return to freshwater to spawn.
Breeding occurs between January and October in the northern hemisphere; however, spawning can take place at any time of year when conditions are favorable. The males prepare nests by clearing away plants and then driving females into the nests to spawn.
The female selects a nest site where she deposits her eggs on submerged vegetation or gravel. The male sprays milt over the eggs for fertilization as he drives the female deeper into the nest with his head until she is lying almost completely still in an exhausted condition. She receives no further attention from her mate and must fend for herself.
An average female will produce between 500,000 to more than one million eggs. The male then chases the female out of the nest and fertilizes any remaining unfertilized eggs with milt sprayed over them as they are driven away by repeated head butting motions.
The lifespan of Atlantic salmon can be anywhere from a few months to two years, with the majority of them living for one year. The largest size they will reach is about 75 centimeters in length and weigh around six kilograms. These fish are born as fry (young) that have not yet developed any distinctive features or coloration.
Parasites and diseases
Salmon populations are extremely vulnerable to parasites and diseases. In one study, a mere two weeks of exposure to sea lice caused up to 60% mortality in some groups of fish. Diseases such as mycobacteriosis may also be devastating, especially when compounded with other impacts like ocean acidification, warming waters, or habitat loss.
For example, in a study of juvenile steelhead effects on overall survival were significant and exacerbated by an infection with mycobacteriosis.
Both eagles and bears will eat salmon, but they are not the only predators. As a matter of fact, most sea creatures depend on these tasty fish to survive.
To protect the Atlantic Salmon’s marine environment, it is not recommended to fish near the shoreline, in coves or bays. These are breeding grounds for these animals and can lead to high levels of mortality if fishing continues there.
Does it make good pets?
Absolutely! Atlantic salmon are great pets. They’re very intelligent and love to interact with their humans. These fish do well in small aquariums or ponds, giving them plenty of room to explore and exercise in a natural habitat.
In the wild, they swim upriver looking for the new territory – but as soon as you get your pet home, you’ll want to provide them with plenty of new territories and habitats.
Is all Atlantic salmon farmed?
No. Some Atlantic salmon is wild-caught in Alaska. The majority of the commercial fishing industry catches Pacific species, but it can be difficult to know for sure whether a particular fish is from the Atlantic or Pacific if they are not labeled as such at the retailer level.
Is Atlantic salmon really salmon?
The Atlantic salmon is not the same species of salmon as those found in other parts of the world. It’s actually a variety of subspecies called Salmo salar, and it has been around since before European settlers came to North America. The Europeans at that time thought they were different enough from other fish to call them “salmon trout” instead of just “trout.”
Atlantic salmon range
Atlantic salmon live in a range from the northern Atlantic to the deep Pacific. The Atlantic pacific population of sockeye, chum, and pink salmon are found on both sides of the North American continent, while other subspecies are only found in one ocean or another.
Some populations make an annual migration between freshwater rivers that they were born in and the ocean, but others are resident to one or the other.
Atlantic salmon fishing
Atlantic salmon fishing is one of the world’s most exciting freshwater sports. The fish are caught using a variety of methods, including fly-fishing and spinning with live bait or lures.
The Atlantic salmon has two migrations during its lifetime – it spends up to five years in freshwater before migrating back to sea for another three to five years, and then returning for spawning.
The Atlantic salmon can grow to a weight of 15 pounds.