Salmon (Salmo salar)

Click image to enlarge

"Atlantic Salmon" from a
painting by David Miller
Features: Mature Salmon are recognised by their silver body and the small adipose fin characteristic of the salmon family. Male salmon at spawning time can be distinguished from females by their distinctive hook shaped lower jaw. The maxillary bone in salmon does not extend beyond the eye.
Spawning: Spawning takes place in freshwater in gravely areas of rivers and streams from November to January.
Fecundity: The average adult salmon lays between 3,000 - 12,000 eggs.
Longevity (age): Salmon spend between one and four years in freshwater before migrating to sea, for one or two years. Irish Salmon are known to travel to the coast of Greenland and to the Faroe Islands to feed.
Diet: Juvenile salmon feed on insects, crustaceans and benthic invertebrates, while adult salmon feed only at sea on a diet of small fish, sandeels, sprat, krill and other pelagic organisms.
Specimen Weight: 9 kgs (20lbs)
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Country Sports and Country Life is indebted to David Miller for permision to reproduce examples of his fine paintings. To view further examples of his work visit his web site