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Salmon is a common name for several fish species in the family Salmonidae, which also includes trout, char, grayling and whitefish. Native to tributaries of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, salmon have also been introduced into the Great Lakes of North America and the Patagonia region of Argentina.
Born in freshwater before they migrate to the ocean, native salmon species are voracious fighters and famous for their acrobatic leaps when hooked. The best way to catch wild salmon is by intercepting them with a fly rod or spinning gear on their way from the ocean to their spawning grounds upstream. Salmon spend their early life in rivers, and then swim out to sea where they mature and grow before returning to the rivers to spawn. Usually they return with uncanny precision to the natal river where they were born, and even to their very spawning ground. As they transition from their ocean home to the rivers, these fish undergo radical morphological changes in preparation for spawning. Their silvery-blue ocean color darkens and the males undergo a dramatic transformation, which includes hooked jaws, teeth and sometimes large humps on their backs.
Seven species of salmon inhabit the Pacific Ocean and its tributaries, including chinook, chum, coho, pink, and sockeye salmon on both sides, and masu and biwa on the Asian side. The only species of salmon native to the Atlantic Ocean is, you guessed it, the Atlantic salmon.