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Salmon Life Cycle
Transcript of Salmon Life Cycle
The salmon is one of a few species of fish that will spend its life in both salt and fresh water.
The female salmon digs a nest in the gravel of a freshwater stream.
After a mate is selected, the female lays her eggs.
The male salmon then fertilizes the eggs externally.
The eggs remain hidden in the gravel until the spring then they hatch.
The eggs eventually form tiny salmon.
The tiny salmon, called alevins, stay in the gravel and absorb their yolk sac.
Then, they leave their gravel home.
The young salmon emerge from the gravel and are now called fry.
The salmon continue to grow and eat insects.
Some salmon species live in the rivers for 1 to 2 years before heading to the ocean. Other salmon begin their journey as soon as they leave their nest.
When the young salmon reach the estuary, or brackish water, they undergo many physical changes needed to live in saltwater.
The salmon spend two to five years in the saltwater ocean .
In the ocean, the salmon continue to mature by gaining weight and continually migrating.
The mature adults, that are ready to breed, begin returning to the same freshwater stream they hatched from facing many challenges as they swim upstream.
The salmon change colors from silver fish to dark or brightly colored adults who are ready to spawn.
After spawning (breeding), most salmon die and return vital nutrients to the hatching stream.