Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) fish species and information / pictures of Atlantic salmon - Salmo salar

Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) fish species information

Scientific Name
Salmo salar

Common Name
Atlantic salmon

Dorsal spines (total): 3 - 4; Dorsal soft rays (total): 9-15; Anal spines: 3 - 4; Anal soft rays: 7 - 11; Vertebrae: 58 - 61. Distinguished from congeners in Atlantic, North, White, Barents and Baltic Sea basins by having the following unique characters: 10-13 scales between end of adipose base and lateral line; 17-24 gill rakers. Additional characters distinguish salmon parrs from trout include: caudal fin deeply forked in individuals smaller than 20 cm SL; hyaline or grey adipose margin. Adult salmon differ uniquely from sea trout by having a posterior part of vomer toothless (Ref. 59043). Fusiform body (Ref. 51442). Mouth extends only to area below rear of eye and has well developed teeth (Ref. 51442). Vomerine teeth weak (Ref. 7251). Caudal fin with 19 rays (Ref. 2196). Little scales (Ref. 51442). Adults are blue-green colored with a silvery coating and a few spots in salt water; no spots under lateral line (Ref. 37032, Ref. 51442). During reproducti


Classified By
Linnaeus, 1758
Ray-finned fishes (Actinopterygii)
Salmons (Salmoniformes)
Salmonids (Salmonidae)


Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean: temperate and arctic zones in northern hemisphere (Ref. 51442). In western Atlantic Ocean distributed in coast drainages from northern Quebec in Canada to Connecticut in USA (Ref. 5723). Landlocked stocks are present in North America (Ref. 1998). Eastern Atlantic Ocean: Atlantic, North, White, Barents and Baltic Sea basins from Minho (Portugual, Spain) to Kara drainages (Kara Sea, Western Siberia). Present in Iceland and in northernmost rivers of Great Britain and Scandinavia. Landlocked populations known from souther Finland, Lakes Vanern (Sweden), Lagoda, Onega, some small lakes in Vyg and Kem drainages, White Sea basin (Russia) and from souther Norway. Main foraging areas along west coast of southern Greenland and north of Faroe Islands, Baltic populations do not leave this sea. Historical records from Duero, Tagus and Guadiana (Portugal, Spain) where now extirpated (Ref. 59043). Introduced to New Zealand, Chile, southern Argentina (Ref. 59043) and Austral
72°N - 37°N, 77°W - 61°E


Water Temperature From
2 °C
Water Temperature To
9 °C
Depth From - meters
0 m
Depth To - meters
210 m
Marine; freshwater; brackish; benthopelagic; anadromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 210 m (Ref. 57178), usually ? - 10 m
Trophic Level
4.43 s.e. 0.06 Based on diet studies.
Occurs in Marine / Salt water
Occurs in Brackish water
Occurs in Fresh Water
Occurs on Reefs
Is kept in Aquariums

Physical Size and Genetics

Maximum Length
150 cm
Common Length
38.0 cm
Phylogenetic Diversity Index
PD50 = 0.5000 many relatives (e.g. carps) 0.5 - 2.0 few relatives (e.g. lungfishes)

Human Uses and Population

Human Uses
Fisheries: highly commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes
Moderate to high vulnerability (55 of 100)
Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.29-0.76; tm=3-5; tmax=14; Fec=8,000)
Threat To Humans
IUCN Red List Status
  Lower Risk: least concern (LR/lc)