Thursday, May 19, 2011

Atlantic Salmon

Atlantic salmon are the “homing pigeons” of the fish world. After several years of living in the sea, they return to the same streams and rivers in which they were born, in order to breed.

Atlantic SalmonOver countless generations, the Atlantic salmon has evolved into a fish whose extraordinary homing instincts can only be matched by very few other fish; the most famous of these being the European eel.The salmon’s instincts are so powerful that they make the yearly return to home waters totally predictable.

Because of this, thousands of salmon are caught each year in nets and traps, as well as on hook and line by anglers, as the vast shoals of homing fish approach river estuaries and begin to move upriver. The timing of this migration, or run, varies from region to region, with greater numbers in spring, summer, and fall.

Epic Journey
Salmon that are ready to breed move from the open sea toward their home waters several months before they actually spawn. Precisely how they manage to do this is not yet fully understood. However, it is known that salmon remember certain characteristics of their home rivers, especially the chemical makeup of the water.
Atlantic Salmon
Atlantic SalmonOnce in their home rivers, they swim upstream toward their spawning grounds, overcoming all manner of obstacles along the way. Where dams and other structures block their way, special salmon “ladders” have been built to allow them to continue on their epic journey. These “ladders” are channels built in a series of steps with water running down them. The salmons’ instincts drive them to swim against this current.They overcome what would usually be impossible hurdles.


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