The Atlantic salmon is an anadromous species, living in fresh water for at least the first 2 or 3 years of life before migrating to sea. Relatively large cool rivers with extensive gravelly bottom headwaters are essential during their early life. Smolts migrate to sea where they may live for 1 or 2 years before returning to fresh water. The movements of Atlantic salmon at sea are not well understood. Tagging has shown that while some salmon wander, the great majority return to the river in which they were spawned. When at sea, salmon seem to prefer temperatures of 4 to 12 C. They may withstand exposure to temperatures in their lower lethal limit (-.7 C) and their upper lethal limit (27.8 C), but only for a short period of time (Bigelow, 1963).
Habitat Regions: temperate ; saltwater or marine ; freshwater
Aquatic Biomes: rivers and streams; coastal