Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Salmon Fishing Scotland Atlantic Salmon Life Cycle.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Atlantic Salmon Life Cycle.

The new Atlantic Salmon season is fast approaching (15th January 2011 on the Tay). Last years cycle is nearly complete with spawning by the majority of salmon and new life will start once temperatures start to rise in the spring. This diagram shows the cycle and shows the complexity of this amazing fish that we all should respect.

The Atlantic Salmon.

Illustration Courtesy of the Atlantic Salmon Trust and Robin Ade.
The Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L. is sometimes referred to as the 'King of Fish'. Life for this regal fish begins in the gravels of rivers from Portugal, Spain and New England (USA) in the south to Ungava Bay (Canada) and Russia in the north. Spawning occurs in the autumn and winter with female salmon depositing between 1,000 - 2,000 eggs (ova) per kilogram of body weight into a nest (or redd) in the gravel. Hatching occurs the following spring and, initially, the young salmon, or alevins, are nourished by the yolk sac until they emerge from the gravel as fry to commence feeding. After the first year of life the young fish are known as parr.

Following a period spent in fresh water, which is dependent on latitude and may range from one year in the south to seven years in the north, the young fish undergo an enormous behavioural and physiological change that allows them to adapt to the salty waters of the North Atlantic Ocean. These smolts migrate to the ocean in the spring and, after one or more years at sea, the adult salmon return to their natal river to complete the cycle. Most salmon die after spawning but a small proportion, mainly females, return to spawn again.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

No mention of grilse?


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