From ArticleWorld

Salmon is the common name for several species of fish in the family Salmonidae. Salmon live in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, as well as the Great Lakes and also other land locked lakes. The Kamchatka Peninsula, in the Far East of Russia, contains the world's greatest salmon sanctuary.

Returning to that spot in

Typically, salmon are anadromous: they are born in fresh water, migrate to the ocean, then return to fresh water to mate and reproduce. Folklore has it that the fish return to the exact spot where they were born to spawn and modern research shows that usually at least 90% of the fish spawning in a stream were born there.

In Alaska, the crossing over to other streams allows salmon to populate new streams, such as those that emerge as great glacier retreats. The precise method salmon use in navigating has not been completely established, though their keen sense of smell is certainly involved.

In all species of Pacific salmon, the mature individuals die within a few days or weeks of spawning. Even in those species of salmon that may survive to spawn more than once, however, post-spawning mortality is quite high. Those species average about two or, perhaps, three spawning events per individual fish.

Fishing methods

Coastal dwellers have long respected the salmon. Most people of the Northern Pacific shores had a ceremony to honor the first return of the year. For many centuries, people caught salmon as they swam upriver to spawn.

A famous spear fishing site on the Columbia River at Celilo Falls was inundated after several been great dams were built on the river. The Ainu, of northern Japan, taught dogs how to catch the salmon as they returned to their breeding grounds en masse. Now, salmon are caught in bays and near the shore. Long drift net fisheries have been banned on all the high seas except off the coast of Ireland.

Population diminishing

Salmon population levels are of concern in the Atlantic and in some parts of the Pacific, but in northern British Columbia and Alaska stocks are still highly abundant. The Skeena river alone has millions of wild salmon returning which support commercial fisheries, aboriginal food fisheries, sports fisheries, and the area's diverse wildlife on the coast. Both Atlantic and Pacific Salmon are important to recreational fishing throughout the world.

In the southern hemisphere there is the Australian salmon, which is a salt water species not related in any way to the salmon elsewhere. It is found along the southern coastline of Australia and Tasmania. Commonly caught there with large beach nets, its use as a commercial fish has been declining over the last 20 years.