Salmon

Salmon

INTRODUCTION


Introduction

The nine important species of salmon occur in two genera. The genus Salmo contains the Atlantic salmon, found in the North Atlantic, as well as many species commonly named trout. The genus Oncorhynchus contains eight species which occur naturally only in the North Pacific. As a group, these are known as Pacific salmon. 

Atlantic salmon -

This fish it is found in the northern Atlantic Ocean and in rivers that flow into this ocean.

A species of ray-finned fish in the family Salmonidae which is the largest salmon and can grow up to a meter in length. 

Most populations of this fish species are anadromous, hatching in streams and rivers but moving out to sea as they grow where they mature, after which the adult fish seasonally move upstream again to spawn.

Atlantic salmon are the largest species in their genus, Salmo.

Pacific Salmon -

Pacific salmon and steelhead have a dynamic life cycle that includes time in fresh and saltwater habitats. These fish are born in freshwater streams and rivers, migrate to coastal estuaries, then enter the ocean where they mature. They usually return as adults to the same streams where they were born to spawn and begin the cycle again.

Baltic Salmon -

The Baltic salmon is a geographically isolated group of Atlantic salmon populations. It is likely that North Atlantic salmon first migrated into the Baftic area about ten thousand years ago as the ice cap over Scandinavia started to retreat. Then a connection opened between the Baltic Ice Lake and the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and the lake became a bay of the Atlantic Ocean, the Yoldia Sea. Latei when the land started to elevate, the sea became cut off from the Atlantic Ocean, and salmon in the area were isolated. The isolation from the

The Atlantic lasted about two thousand years, which may explain why salmon do flot migrate between the Baltic and the North Atlantic today.

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Overview

HABITAT

Salmon are considered “anadromous” which means they live in both fresh and salt water. They are born in freshwater where they spend a few months to a few years (depending on the species) before moving out to the ocean. When it's time to spawn, they head back to freshwater.

FEEDING

Young salmon begin a feeding response within a few days. After the yolk sac is absorbed by the body, they begin to hunt. Juveniles start with tiny invertebrates, but as they mature, they may occasionally eat small fish. During this time, they hunt both in the substrate and in the current. Some have been known to eat salmon eggs. The most commonly eaten foods include caddisflies, blackflies, mayflies, and stoneflies

As adults, the salmon prefer capelin as their meal of choice. Capelin are elongated silvery fish that grow up to 20–25 centimetres long.

 

Gear and equipment

ROD

The following rod sizes can be recommended for the different types of rivers:

Small riversSingle handed rods of class 7 or higher, switch rods of class 6/7 or higher and light double handed rods in class 7/8 or 8/9 with a length of up to 13 feet. Medium rivers: Double handed rods in class 8/9 or 9/10 with a length of 13 - 14 feet. Large rivers: Double handed rods in class 9/10, 10/11 and 11/12 with a length of 14 - 15 feet.

If you know exactly when and where you will be fishing, you should equip yourself with an appropriate rod that matches the conditions of this specific river.

For those of you who prefer a versatile setup, a line class 9/10 double handed rod with a length of around 14 feet is the ideal choice. Just like a class 5 rod for trout fishing, this configuration enables you to fish a large variety of river types. Therefore, this is the classic entry rod into the fascinating world of double handed fishing.

 

REEL

The ideal salmon reel should combine the following features: it shouldn’t be too light because especially big double handed fly rods need a proper counterweight to be perfectly balanced. Otherwise, an unbalanced rod is an unnecessary burden that weakens your performance.

 

FLY

Generally there are 2 varieties of fly line used for salmon fishing, a floating line and a sinking tip line. A weight forward floating line is recommended for longer casts and to punch out line in windy conditions. Sinking tips of various densities are used for high or extremely fast water conditions to get the fly down to the salmon. Choose a density that is suitable for the water conditions you will be fishing in. A number of specialized fly lines have been developed in recent years that provide improved casting ability under various conditions. Some anglers create custom lines by splicing different fly lines together. A traditional floating and sinking tip line are satisfactory for most salmon fishing. The most popular brands of fly line are Scientific Angler's Mastery series and Ultra series, Orvis, Cortland and Lee Wulff. A good quality line will last longer and perform better. Avoid purchasing the very cheap lines.

Backing should be braided Micron or Dacron of approximately 20 or 30 lbs.

 

FLIES

Every salmon fisherman has his own variants of famous patterns and personal favourites.

The colour of your fly should always match the tone of the river. For example, the classic „Willie Gun combination“ – yellow, orange and black – has proven to be very successful in tea-coloured water. By the way, black flies should never be missing in your fly box.

The size of the fly depends on the water temperature. Cold water at the beginning of the season demands bigger flies, while small flies can be super effective during the warm summer months.

 

Species

CHINOOK SALMON -  The largest species of Pacific salmon.

Its common name is derived from the Chinookan peoples. Other names for the species include king salmon, Quinnat salmon, spring salmon, chrome hog, Blackmouth, and Tyee salmon. 

The Chinook is blue-green, red, or purple on the back and top of the head, with silvery sides and white ventral surfaces. It has black spots on its tail and the upper half of its body. Although spots are seen on the tail in pink salmon, and silver on the tail in silver and dog salmon, Chinook are unique among the Pacific salmon in combining black spots and silver on the tail. Another distinctive feature is a black gum line that is present in both salt and freshwater.

Habitat - This fish need healthy ocean habitats. Juvenile salmon grow in clean, productive estuarine environments and gain the energy for migration. Later, they change physiologically to live in salt water. They rely on eelgrass and seaweeds for camouflage (protection from predators), shelter, and foraging habitat as they make their way to the open ocean. Adult fish need a rich, open ocean habitat to acquire the strength needed to travel back upstream, escape predators, and reproduce before dying

Feeding - Chinook eat insects, amphipods, and other crustaceans while young, and primarily other fish when older. Young salmon feed in streambeds for a short period until they are strong enough to journey out into the ocean and acquire more food. Chinook juveniles divide into two types: ocean-type and stream-type. Ocean-type Chinook migrate to salt water in their first year. Stream-type salmon spend one full year in fresh water before migrating to the ocean.

Season - April to June - Mid June to August.

 

COHO SALMON- Is a species of anadromous fish in the salmon family and one of the five Pacific salmon species.

Coho salmon are also known as silver salmon or "silvers".

Coho have dark metallic blue or greenish backs with silver sides and a light belly.

While they are in the ocean, they have small black spots on their back and on the upper lobe of the tail.

In fresh water, spawning coho are dark with reddishmaroon coloration on the sides.

Before juvenile coho migrate to the sea, they lose their parr marks and gain the dark back and light belly coloration of coho living in the ocean. 

Habitat - Coho salmon are anadromous—they hatch in freshwater streams and spend a year in streams and rivers then migrate out to the saltwater environment of the ocean to feed and grow.

Coho salmon are found throughout the North Pacific Ocean and in most coastal streams and rivers from Alaska to central California.

Feeding - In their freshwater stages, coho feed on plankton and aquatic invertebrates in the benthos and water column, such as Chironomids, midge larvae, and terrestrial insects that fall into the water.[11] Upon entering the marine environment, they switch to a diet of plankton and fish, with fish making up most of their diets after a certain size.[12] Adult coho feed on a vast variety of prey items that depend on the region they reside in during their second year at sea. Spawning habitats are small streams with stable gravel substrates.

Season - August to Nov.

 

CHUM SALMON- Is a species of anadromous fish in the salmon family. 

It is a Pacific salmon, and may also be known as dog salmon or keta salmon, and is often marketed under the name silverbrite salmon. 

One of the largest species of Pacific salmon, second only to Chinook salmon in size.

They are metallic greenish-blue along the back with black speckles, similar to both sockeye and coho salmon.

As they enter fresh water, their appearance changes dramatically.

Both sexes develop a tiger stripe pattern of bold red and black stripes.

Males develop enormous canine-like fangs and their bodies have a striking calico pattern, with the front two-thirds of the flank marked by a bold, jagged, reddish line and the back third by a jagged black line.

Spawning females are less flamboyantly colored and do not have fangs.

When juvenile chum salmon are about to migrate to sea, they lose their parr marks and gain the dark back and light belly of fish living in open water.

Habitat - Chum salmon are anadromous, they chatch in fresh water streams and rivers then migrate out to the saltwater environment of the ocean to feed and grow.

Chum salmon do not reside in fresh water for an extended period, unlike coho, Chinook, and sockeye salmon. Chum salmon are the most widely distributed of all the Pacific salmon.

They are found throughout the North Pacific Ocean and range from the Arctic coast of Canada and throughout the northern coastal regions of North America and Asia.

Feeding - Young chum salmon feed on insects as they migrate downriver and on insects and marine invertebrates in estuaries and near-shore marine habitats. Adults eat copepods, fishes, mollusks, squid, and tunicates.Various fish and birds prey on juvenile chum salmon. Sharks, sea lions and seals, and orcas eat adult chum salmon.

Season - Mid July to mid August.

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