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Salmon

Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)

Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus species)

Water pollution, fishing, and fish-farming

Resources

Salmon are various species of medium-sized, fusiform (a vertically compressed, torpedo shape) fish with small scales. Their fins are arranged like those of most freshwater fish. On the underside are two pectoral fins, a pair of pelvic fins, an anal fin, and a caudal (or tail) fin. On the back are a dorsal fin and a smaller adipose fin located in front of the tail. The mouth is wide and has numerous strong teeth. The coloring ranges from silvery, to green, brown, gold, or red, and changes with environmental conditions and stage of life. At sea, the muscle of most salmon becomes pink-colored as they accumulate fat; in freshwater, most species become somewhat paler-green. Salmon are native to the Northern Hemisphere, but some species have been introduced to the Southern Hemisphere. The lifestyles of the various species are broadly similar; they lay their eggs in freshwater, are born and spend their early juvenile life there, then migrate to ocean to feed, and return as adults to their natal river to spawn.

Salmon belong to the family Salmonidae of the order Salmoniformes. The salmon family is broken down into three subfamilies, containing species of salmon, whitefish, and grayling. Within the subfamily of salmon, there are five genera: Salmo (Salmon, also

containing trout), Oncorhynchus (Pacific salmon), Hucho, Salvelinus (charrs), and Brachymystax.

Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)

Atlantic salmon live in the north Atlantic Ocean, from Cape Cod to Greenland, and from the Arctic coast of western Russia south to northern Spain. This is perhaps the best known species in the family Salmonidae. It has a rounded body and a slightly forked caudal fin. Their scales are round and show annual growth rings, and their position can be interpreted to reveal aspects of an individuals life history, such as the number of times it has spawned. The lower jaw of males develops a pronounced upward hook, similar to an underbite.

Life cycle of Atlantic salmon

The life-cycle of the Atlantic salmon is typical of other species. While some populations live their entire lives in inland waters, most leave the river where they were born, going out to sea to feed and grow. At sea, Atlantic salmon feed voraciously on smaller species of fish. When they become sexually mature they return to their natal freshwater habitat to spawn. Individuals may enter the rivers at different times of the year, but spawning always takes place from about October to January.

When preparing to spawn, the female digs a shallow nest, called a redd, by pushing pebbles on the river floor out of the way with her tail. The redd is generally 6-12 in (15-30 cm) deep, and a few stones are usually present on the bottom. In a crouching position, the female then lays her eggs; at the same time, the male, also crouching, fertilizes them with his milt. While this is occurring, young males who have never been to sea may dart in and out of the nest, spreading their own sperm. This behavior ensures that most of the eggs will be fertilized.

The female repeats this nesting procedure several times in separate locations, moving upstream each time. She covers her older nests with the pebbles from the newer ones, thus protecting her eggs. Overall, spawning lasts about two weeks, during which time the salmon lose about 35% of their body weight. In this depleted condition, they are known as kelts. They return downstream, and in their weakened physical state, many of them die of disease or are taken by predators. Unlike Pacific salmon, Atlantic salmon are capable of spawning more than once during their life. Typically, about 5-10% of the kelts return to spawn the following year.

The eggs stay in the nest all winter and hatch in the springtime. During their incubation, it is important that they have a steady supply of clean freshwater and oxygen. When they hatch, they are said to be in the alevin stage, and they feed on the remainder of their yolk sac. When the yolk runs out of nutrients, the young, now called fry, come out of the gravel and feed on aquatic invertebrates. As they grow, they become parrs, and are camouflaged by dark splotches on their body. The young salmon spend 1-6 years in their natal river. When they grow to 4-7.5 in (10-19 cm) long, they lose their splotches, becoming completely silver, and migrate out to sea. At this point they are called smolts.

The smolts remain at sea for one to five years, feeding on fish and growing and building up a large store of fat. Then they return to freshwater to breed, usually to the river where they were born. They swim energetically up streams and rivers, going through rapids, and even leaping up small waterfalls. They do not feed during this migration. They may travel hundreds of miles inland during this trip. During their journey, they change color and physical appearance. Originally silver, they turn brown or green, and males develop a hooked lower jaw, called a kype. Males use their kypes for fighting other males while defending their breeding territory.

Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus species)

Pacific salmon have an elongated, compressed body, and their head comes to a point at their mouth, which contains well-developed teeth. When they feed at sea, their coloring is metallic blue with a few brown spots, and their flesh is pale pink and contains 9-11% fat. When spawning in freshwater their external coloring turns greenish yellow with pinkish red streaks on the sides.

Pacific salmon live off the coast of areas in the northern Pacific Ocean, from California to Japan to Russia. Some species extend to the southern Arctic Ocean. There are seven species of Pacific salmon, five of which are native to North American waters. The largest species is the king salmon, also called the chinook or quinnat salmon. One large king salmon was caught that weighed 125 lb (57 kg), but a more common maximum weight is around 55 lb (25 kg). Other species of Pacific salmon weigh 3-18 lb (1.5-8 kg).

Spawning activities are similar to those of the Atlantic salmon. The majority of species spawn in the winter, and the activity occurs over three to five days. The eggs are about 0.3 in (7 mm) in diameter. However, both males and females die soon after spawning.

Water pollution, fishing, and fish-farming

Because of their migratory habits and abundance, salmon have a long history of being a valuable source of food for people. In fact, before water pollution became a major problem, these fish were cheap and easy to get. However, with the onset of the industrial revolution, many rivers became polluted or were blocked by dams, and salmon populations declined or disappeared. Furthermore, decreases in salmon populations were intensified by increased fishing in salmon feeding habitat at sea. Fishery biologists are attempting to stem the salmon declines by enhancing wild stocks, for example, by releasing large numbers of captive-reared, young fish. This so-called stock enhancement can help, but it is also necessary to stop or repair the damage to aquatic habitat, and control the rate of fishing.

As a result of their decline, salmon became a high priced luxury item. Subsequently, the industry of fish farming arose, introducing the practice of rearing

KEY TERMS

Adipose fin A small, extra dorsal fin located well back on the fishs spine in front of the tail.

Alevin stage The time in a salmons life right after it hatches when it feeds on its yolk sac.

Anal fin The fin located on the belly just before the tail fin.

Caudal fin The tail fin of a fish.

Dorsal fin A fin located on the back of a fish.

Fry Follows the alevin stage, when the young fry leaves the gravel and feeds on invertebrates.

Kelts Atlantic salmon that have lived through their spawning, and try to return to sea. They may spawn again the following year.

Kype The hooked lower jaw of a male Atlantic salmon, grown when spawning to fight other males.

Parrs The name for salmon when they have grown around an inch or so long and become camouflaged by dark splotches on their body.

Pectoral fins The first two fins on the fishs lower sides, almost to its belly.

Pelvic fin Located on the fishs belly, slightly to the rear of the dorsal fin and in front of the anal fin.

Redd A shallow nest dug by the female prior to spawning.

Smolts When the salmon grows 47.5 in (1018 cm) long, it loses its splotches, becomes silver colored, and migrates to sea.

salmon in cages in embayments or at sea, or in ponds on land. The most popular species of salmon being farmed are Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout, Coho salmon, pink salmon, and American brook trout. Fish farming has helped to offset some of the decreases in salmon populations. However, other important problems have developed, because of chemicals used to prevent diseases in captive salmon and the build-up of organic sludge beneath fish-cages. Until measures are taken to control water pollution and to stop overf-ishing, salmon populations will not be able to return to their once abundant numbers.

Resources

BOOKS

Behnke, Robert J. Trout and Salmon of North America. New York: Free Press, 2002.

Drummond, Stephen Sedwick. The Salmon Handbook. London: Robert Hartnoll, 1982.

Nelson, Joseph S. Fishes of the World. 4th ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2006.

Quinn, Thomas P. The Behavior and Ecology of Pacific Salmon and Trout. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2005.

Whiteman, Kate. World Encyclopedia of Fish and Shellfish. New York: Lorenz Books, 2000.

PERIODICALS

Levin, P.S., and M.H. Schiewe. Preserving Salmon Biodiversity. American Scientist 89 (2002): 220227.

Kathryn Snavely

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Salmon

Salmon are various species of medium-sized, fusiform (a vertically compressed, torpedo shape) fish with small scales. Their fins are arranged like those of most freshwater fish. On the underside are two pectoral fins, a pair of pelvic fins, an anal fin, and a caudal (or tail) fin. On the back are a dorsal fin and a smaller adipose fin located in front of the tail. The mouth is wide and has numerous strong teeth. The coloring ranges from silvery, to green, brown, gold, or red, and changes with environmental conditions and stage of life. At sea, the muscle of most salmon becomes pink-colored as they accumulate fat ; in freshwater, most species become somewhat paler-green. Salmon are native to the Northern Hemisphere, but some species have been introduced to the Southern Hemisphere. The lifestyles of the various species are broadly similar; they lay their eggs in freshwater, are born and spend their early juvenile life there, then migrate to ocean to feed, and return as adults to their natal river to spawn.

Salmon belong to the family (Salmonidae), in the suborder Salmonoidei of the order Salmoniformes. The salmon family is broken down into three subfamilies, containing species of salmon, whitefish, and grayling. Within the subfamily of salmon, there are five genera: Salmo (Salmon, also containing trout), Oncorhynchus (Pacific Salmon), Hucho, Salvelinus (Charrs), and Brachymystax.


Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)

Atlantic salmon live in the north Atlantic Ocean, from Cape Cod to Greenland, and from the Arctic coast of western Russia south to northern Spain. This is perhaps the best known species in the family Salmonidae. It has a rounded body and a slightly forked caudal fin. Their scales are round and show annual growth rings, and their position can be interpreted to reveal aspects of an individual's life history , such as the number of times it has spawned. The lower jaw of males develops a pronounced upward hook, similar to an underbite.


Life cycle of Atlantic salmon

The life-cycle of the Atlantic salmon is typical of other species. While some populations live their entire lives in inland waters, most leave the river where they were born, going out to sea to feed and grow. At sea, Atlantic salmon feed voraciously on smaller species of fish. When they become sexually mature they return to their natal freshwater habitat to spawn. Individuals may enter the rivers at different times of the year, but spawning always takes place in the wintertime, from about October to January.

When preparing to spawn, the female digs a shallow nest, called a redd, by pushing pebbles on the river floor out of the way with her tail. The redd is generally 6-12 in (15-30 cm) deep, and a few stones are usually present on the bottom. In a crouching position, the female then lays her eggs; at the same time, the male, also crouching, fertilizes them with his milt. While this is occurring, young males who have never been to sea may dart in and out of the nest, spreading their own sperm. This behavior ensures that most of the eggs will be fertilized.

The female repeats this nesting procedure several times in separate locations, moving upstream each time. She covers her older nests with the pebbles from the newer ones, thus protecting her eggs. Overall, spawning lasts about two weeks, during which time the salmon lose about 35% of their body weight. In this depleted condition, they are known as kelts. They return downstream, and in their weakened physical state, many of them die of disease or are taken by predators. Unlike Pacific salmon, Atlantic salmon are capable of spawning more than once during their life. Typically, about 5-10% of the kelts return to spawn the following year.

The eggs stay in the nest all winter and hatch in the springtime. During their incubation, it is important that they have a steady supply of clean freshwater and oxygen . When they hatch, they are said to be in the alevin stage, and they feed on the remainder of their yolk sac. When the yolk runs out of nutrients , the young, now called fry, come out of the gravel and feed on aquatic invertebrates . As they grow, they become parrs, and are camouflaged by dark splotches on their body. The young salmon spend 1-6 years in their natal river. When they grow to 4-7.5 in (10-19 cm) long, they lose their splotches, becoming completely silver, and migrate out to sea. At this point they are called smolts.

The smolts remain at sea for one to five years, feeding on fish and growing and building up a large store of fat. Then they return to freshwater to breed, usually to the river where they were born. They swim energetically up streams and rivers, going through rapids, and even leaping up small waterfalls. They do not feed during this migration . They may travel hundreds of miles inland during this trip. During their journey, they change color and physical appearance. Originally silver, they turn brown or green, and males develop a hooked lower jaw, called a kype. Males use their kypes for fighting other males while defending their breeding territory.


Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus species)

Pacific salmon have an elongated, compressed body, and their head comes to a point at their mouth, which contains well-developed teeth. When they feed at sea, their coloring is metallic blue with a few brown spots, and their flesh is pale pink and contains 9-11% fat. When spawning in freshwater their external coloring turns greenish yellow with pinkish red streaks on the sides.

Pacific salmon live off the coast of areas in the northern Pacific Ocean, from California to Japan to Russia. Some species extend to the southern Arctic Ocean. There are seven species of Pacific salmon, five of which are native to North American waters. The largest species is the king salmon, also called the chinook or quinnat salmon. One large king salmon was caught that weighed 125 lb (57 kg), but a more common maximum weight is around 55 lb (25 kg). Other species of Pacific salmon weigh 3-18 lb (1.5-8 kg).

Spawning activities are similar to those of the Atlantic salmon. The majority of species spawn in the winter, and the activity occurs over three to five days. The eggs are about 0.3 in (7 mm) in diameter. However, both males and females die soon after spawning.


Water pollution, fishing, and fish-farming

Because of their migratory habits and abundance, salmon have a long history of being a valuable source of food for people. In fact, before water pollution became a major problem, these fish were cheap and easy to get. However, with the onset of the industrial revolution , many rivers became polluted or were blocked by dams , and salmon populations declined or disappeared. Furthermore, decreases in salmon populations were intensified by increased fishing in salmon feeding habitat at sea. Fishery biologists are attempting to stem the salmon declines by enhancing wild stocks, for example, by releasing large numbers of captive-reared, young fish. This so-called "stock enhancement" can help, but it is also necessary to stop or repair the damage to aquatic habitat, and control the rate of fishing.

As a result of their decline, salmon became a high priced luxury item. Subsequently, the industry of fish farming arose, introducing the practice of rearing salmon in cages in embayments or at sea, or in ponds on land. The most popular species of salmon being farmed are Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout, Coho salmon, pink salmon, and American brook trout. Fish farming has helped to offset some of the decreases in salmon populations. However, other important problems have developed, because of chemicals used to prevent diseases in captive salmon and the build-up of organic sludge beneath fish-cages. Until measures are taken to control water pollution and to stop overfishing, salmon populations will not be able to return to their once abundant numbers.


Resources

books

Drummond, Stephen Sedwick. The Salmon Handbook. London: Robert Hartnoll, 1982.

Nelson, Joseph S. Fishes of the World. 3rd ed. New York: Wiley, 1994.

Whiteman, Kate. World Encyclopedia of Fish & Shellfish. New York: Lorenz Books, 2000.


Kathryn Snavely

KEY TERMS


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Adipose fin

—A small, extra dorsal fin located well back on the fish's spine in front of the tail.

Alevin stage

—The time in a salmon's life right after it hatches when it feeds on its yolk sac.

Anal fin

—The fin located on the belly just before the tail fin.

Caudal fin

—The tail fin of a fish.

Dorsal fin

—A fin located on the back of a fish.

Fry

—Follows the alevin stage, when the young fry leaves the gravel and feeds on invertebrates.

Kelts

—Atlantic salmon that have lived through their spawning, and try to return to sea. They may spawn again the following year.

Kype

—The hooked lower jaw of a male Atlantic salmon, grown when spawning to fight other males.

Parrs

—The name for salmon when they have grown around an inch or so long and become camouflaged by dark splotches on their body.

Pectoral fins

—The first two fins on the fish's lower sides, almost to its belly.

Pelvic fin

—Located on the fish's belly, slightly to the rear of the dorsal fin and in front of the anal fin.

Redd

—A shallow nest dug by the female prior to spawning.

Smolts

—When the salmon grows 4–7.5 in (10–18 cm) long, it loses its splotches, becomes silver colored, and migrates to sea.

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Salmon


Salmon is a popular fish for food and sport fishing. Five species of salmon live in the North Pacific Ocean: Pink, Sockeye, Coho, Chum, and Chinook. One species, the Atlantic salmon, lives in the North Atlantic Ocean. Two other fish species that are also members of the Salmonidae fish familysteelhead and sea-run cutthroat troutlive in the Pacific Northwest. The Pacific Coast salmon populations are being threatened with extirpation from much, if not all, of their range.

At the heart of the Pacific salmon species' range, and perhaps indicative of the heart of its problems, is the Columbia River basin. Covering parts of seven states and two Canadian provinces, the Columbia River system contains over 100 dams , 56 of which are major structures, including 19 major generators of hydroelectric power. These structures present an insurmountable obstacle for these migrating fishes. Adult salmon, after growing and maturing in the ocean, return to the freshwater stream of their origin as they swim upstream to spawn. The adults will die shortly after this culmination of their arduous journey, and, after hatching, the young salmoncalled smoltsswim downstream to the ocean to continue this life cycle.

About three-fourths of all of the population declines of salmon are directly attributable to hydroelectric dams. The dams simply do not allow a majority of these fish to successfully complete their migration , and many salmon die as they swim, or are swept, directly into the turbines. Fish ladders, stepped pools intended as an aid for fish to bypass the dams, enable some salmon to continue their journey, but many do not find their way through. As they move downstream, the smolts are slowed or stopped by the reservoirs created by the dams. Here they are exposed to larger populations of predators than in their natural riverine habitat . They are exposed to a wide variety of pathogens as well as a physical environment of warmer, slow moving waters, to which they are only moderately tolerant. Only 20% of the downstream migrants ever make it to the Pacific. Poor water quality and nutrient deficits in many stretches of the Columbia River also takes a toll on the young smolts.

Overfishing , both offshore and along the rivers, contributes to the decline of salmon populations. Fishery biologists have attempted to offset these losses of native stocks by releasing hatchery-raised salmon. However, interbreeding reduces the genetic hardiness of these fish. They also weaken the genetic lines of wild fish when they breed with them. Historically, when hatchery programs have increased the mixed stock fish population (i.e., wild and farmed) dramatically, fishing activity increases and a further depletion of wild salmon results.

To address overfishing issues, in 1996 Washington State began using a mass-marking program designed to enable fishermen to more easily identify hatchery chinook and coho salmon. Fish bred in a hatchery have their adipose fin (a small tail fin) removed before they are released. Anyone who catches a marked hatchery fish may keep it; wild salmon that are unmarked must be released back into the wild.

Realizing the need for a more balanced management plan for the Columbia River basin, Congress passed the Northwest Power Act in 1980. This act established the Northwest Power Planning Council (NWPPC), which was charged with the task of balancing long-term hydroelectric energy needs with minimizing the negative impact of dams on native salmon populations. However, despite modifications to water flow along the Snake and Columbia Rivers instituted by the NWPPC, the native salmon population continued to decline throughout the 1980s.

In 1991, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) began an extensive study of salmon populations in the northwestern United States. The NMFS found that 52 distinct populations (termed Evolutionarily Significant Units, or ESUs) of Pacific salmon have been identified in west coast states. That same year, Snake River stocks of sockeye salmon were first listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as endangered. Twenty-six salmon ESUs are now listed as threatened or endangered status.

In June 2000, the NMFS adopted a rule prohibiting the killing or injuring of 14 ESUs of Pacific salmon and steelhead classified as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This "take" rule was adopted under section 4(d) of the ESA. The rule does allow for the removal of ESA-listed salmon in association with approved programs such as scientific research and tribal fishing rights.

Various species of salmon have been added to the ESA list in the past several decades. As of May 2002, Atlantic salmon were included on the ESA with an endangered status, while chum and coho were listed as threatened. Dual status ESA species (endangered in one part of their range and threatened in another) include chinook salmon, sockeye salmon, and steelhead.

In late 2001, a U.S. district court ruled that the NMFS listing of Oregon coast coho salmon as endangered was "arbitrary and capricious" (Alsea Valley Alliance v. Evans ). The court determined that excluding hatchery stock from the population assessment of this species, as NMFS had done, was inappropriate. This ruling could have far-reaching implications for other salmon stocks listed as endangered or threatened; after the Alsea ruling, six delisting petitions were filed by farming irrigation groups and other agencies requesting the removal of additional ESUs from endangered status. As of May 2002, NMFS was appealing the Alsea decision, but had also announced status reviews on fourteen endangered salmon ESUs. The Oregon coho remains on the endangered list pending the decision of the appeal.

Long-term, sustained population recovery for these ecologically, as well as economically, important salmon populations will depend on changes in both habitat and human behavior. More water is needed downstream to aid migration. This would mean less water for irrigation and for hydroelectric-generated power. Increased water flow through releases from reservoirs and spillway openings in the hydroelectric dam system has been shown to improve salmon survival rates in the Snake River. Balancing the power requirements of the Pacific Northwest with the habitat needs of salmon species will be a key part of ensuring their continued survival.

[Eugene C. Beckham and Paula A. Ford-Martin ]

RESOURCES

BOOKS

Lichatowich, Jim. Salmon Without Rivers: A History of the Pacific Salmon. Washington, DC: Island Press, 2001.

Taylor, Joseph. Making Salmon: An Environmental History of the Northwest Fisheries Crisis. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 2001.

PERIODICALS

Curtis, S. "Power Plan Trumps Salmon Recovery." Field & Stream 106, no.1 (May 2001): 16.

Gresh, Ted, J. Lichatowich, and P. Schoonmaker. "An Estimation of Historic and Current Levels of Salmon Production in the Northeast Pacific Ecosystem." Fisheries 25, no.1 (January 2000): 1521.

OTHER

Northwest Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service. Salmonid Travel Time and Survival Related to Flow in the Columbia River Basin. March 2000 [cited May 2002]. <http://www.nwfsc.noaa.gov/pubs/nwfscpubs.html>.

Northwest Salmon Recovery Planning. [cited May 31, 2002]. <http://research.nwfsc.noaa.gov/cbd/trt/index.html>.

ORGANIZATIONS

Northwest Fisheries Science Center, NMFS, NOAA, 2725 Montlake Blvd. E, Seattle, WA USA 98112 (206) 860-3200, Email:[email protected], <http://www.nwfsc.noaa.gov/>

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SALMON

SALMON , family of English caterers. alfred salmon (1868–1928) was the eldest son of Barnett Salmon (1829–1897), partner in the firm of retail tobacconists, Salmon and *Gluckstein. With Joseph *Lyons and the brothers Isidore and Montague Gluckstein, he was a founder of the famous catering establishment, J. Lyons and Company. Alfred Salmon began by selling cigars in his father's concern at the age of 13. After learning the catering business, he started his career in Lyons as manager of the refreshment room at the Imperial Institute, and in 1922 succeeded Montague Gluckstein as chairman of the company, retaining the position until his death. He was also interested in hospital work and closely connected with the development of the London Hospital. His brother, sir isidor salmon (1876–1941), began his career as a kitchen apprentice and later served at Olympia, London's great exhibition and entertainments center, where J. Lyons and Company were the catering contractors. He was active in the development of the company and followed his brother as its chairman. In World War i he organized the Army and Navy Canteen Board and revolutionized army catering. He also founded the Westminster Technical School for the training of waiters and cooks. From 1924 to 1941 he was Conservative member of parliament for Harrow and sat on numerous parliamentary committees. He also played an active part in the municipal administration of London and in Jewish communal affairs, being president of the South London Jewish Schools, vice president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and of the Jewish orphanage, and closely connected with the United Synagogue. Isidore Salmon was knighted in 1933. Another brother, henry salmon (1881–1950), was instrumental in developing the modern wholesale tea industry in Britain. Other members of the family were sir samuel (isidore) salmon (1900–1980), chairman of J. Lyons and Company from 1965 to 1968 and an active member of the London County Council; sir julian salmon (1903–1978), deputy chairman of Lyons and catering adviser to the Royal Air Force; geoffrey isidore hamilton salmon (1908–1990), chairman of Lyons from 1968 and catering adviser to the British Army; and brian salmon (1921–2000), chairman of the firm from 1972 and the author of the Salmon Report on senior nursing staff structures.

bibliography:

P.H. Emden, Jews of Britain (1943), 486–91. add. bibliography: "Henry Salmon," in: dbb, 5, 20–22.

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salm·on / ˈsamən/ • n. (pl. same or (esp. of types) salmons) 1. a large edible game fish, much prized for its pink flesh. Salmon mature in the sea but migrate to freshwater streams to spawn. The Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) may return to spawn two or three times, but the five species of Pacific salmon (genus Oncorhynchus) always die after spawning. The salmon family (Salmonidae) also includes trout, char, whitefish, and their relatives. ∎  the flesh of this fish as food. 2. any of a number of fishes that resemble the true salmons. 3. a pale pinkish orange color. DERIVATIVES: salm·on·y adj.

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salmon Fish of a number of species including Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), and chinook, chum, coho (or silver), pink (or humpback), and sockeye (or red), which are varieties of Oncorhynchus and in the UK must be described as red or pink salmon. Although wild salmon are caught on a large scale, most of the salmon available in Europe is farmed in deep inlets of the sea, especially in Scotland and Norway.

A 150‐g portion is an exceptionally rich source of vitamin B12, a rich source of protein, niacin, vitamin B6, copper, and selenium; a good source of vitamin B1; a source of vitamin B2 and folate; contains 160 mg of sodium and 20 g of fat, of which 20% is saturated and 50% is mono‐unsaturated; supplies 300 kcal (1260 kJ). Pacific salmon may be a source of vitamin A and a rich source of vitamin D; canned salmon, in which the softened bones are edible, is also a source of calcium.

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salmon Marine and freshwater fish of the Northern Hemisphere. Most species are silvery and spotted until the spawning season when they turn dark or red. The Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus) hatches, spawns, and dies in freshwater, but spends its adult life in the ocean. The Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) is a marine trout that spawns in rivers on each side of the Atlantic Ocean and then returns to the sea. Weight: to 36kg (80lb). Family Salmonidae.

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salmon large fish of the genus Salmo. XIII (sa(l)moun). — AN. sa(u)moun, (O)F. saumon :- L. salmō, salmōn-, rel. to salar trout or young salmon.

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salmon a salmon with a ring is the emblem of St Kentigern.

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