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Why Do Salmon Swim Upstream

Salmon is the common name given to a number of fish from the same family. There are also some species in this family that are called trout. Various species can be found in both the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean, but many species have been translocated to other areas. Many species of salmon are an important, and popular, food source and it is for this reason that salmon farming is very common. Salmon are also well known for their migratory behavior.

Why do salmon swim upstream?
Salmon are known for migrating from the tiniest of rivers into the ocean and back again. The reason they swim upstream after being in the ocean is to breed. They remain in the ocean until they are sexually mature, but the exact age of this depends on the species. Some species of salmon migrate more than 1,400 km (900 miles) from the ocean to the freshwater river or stream. They breed in the freshwater and, most commonly, do so at high altitudes. This means that the salmon must fight the strong currents and obstacles in the river on the journey upstream.

Did you know?
Most species of salmon die soon after spawning. This is partly because the salmon has become used to saltwater and can no longer tolerate long periods in fresh water.

Research has shown that salmon swim upstream to spawn in the same place that they were born.

The salmon farming industry is worth over $1 billion. The largest producers of farmed salmon include; Chile, Scotland, Canada and Norway.

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