We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Salmon?

Mary McMahon
Updated Jun 04, 2024
Our promise to you
All Things Nature is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All Things Nature, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Salmon are members of the Salmonidae family of fishes, distinguished by their pale pink flesh, which is popular among humans. They are anadromous fish, reproducing and hatching in fresh water but entering the sea as adults. According to folklore, salmon will return to the same locations year after year to spawn. Like their relatives the trout, these fish are very sensitive to environmental changes and are often used as an indicator species.

In the west, salmon have often contended with farmers for water rights, with drought conditions resulting in a high diversion of available water to agriculture. Conservationists argue that the fish needs habitat just as humans need food, and have tried to protect it to some extent with water regulation, tight fishery monitoring, and the introduction of salmon to new environments. They have been successfully farmed, and farmed fish may be a better ecological alternative in some cases to wild caught salmon.

Salmon are found in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, with a record weight of 100 pounds (45 kilograms) being recorded for one epic Atlantic salmon. Pacific fish tend to be smaller on average, although both types will range far afield when they reach the sea. Salmon will travel up and down stream several times to spawn, return to sea, and repeat the process during their lifetimes. They have been part of the human diet for centuries, and play a powerful role in the mythology of many western Native American nations.

These fish look much like their relatives the trout, with dark mottled upper bodies and creamy lower bodies, a small adipose fin between the tail and dorsal fins, and a pronounced, forward carried mouth. Unlike trout, salmon have 12 or more rays on their anal fins, and often have dark or black mouths. The meat is rich in omega 3 acids, and prized by many consumers who favor its mild flavor and rich pink flavor. As a result, many are struggling with extinction due to overfishing, despite careful fisheries management.

Because salmon tend to run along the same river throughout their lifetime, biologists frequently refer to groups of fish by the river they inhabit and the name of the species, as is the case in Sacramento River Chinook, for example. There are five recognized species: chinook, coho, chum, sockeye, and pink. All are commercially fished, and most are viewed as threatened species due to their shrinking habitats. Wild salmon used to be highly genetically diverse, with a wide range of varieties emerging from assorted rivers along the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. However, with the pressure of commercial fisheries, the genetic diversity is dwindling.

It is hoped that increased regulation and control will allow salmon stocks to recover, and many states have launched vigorous public campaigns to educate consumers about the fish and the legal repercussions of taking the wrong type.

All Things Nature is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a All Things Nature researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By wavy58 — On Feb 03, 2013

@lighth0se33 – I agree with you there. There is only one way that I like my salmon prepared.

I bake it with butter, lemon juice, and dill weed. The dill brings out the flavor of the salmon somehow, and it isn't overpowering at all.

In fact, I can't eat dill on anything else without thinking of fish. That's just how much salmon and dill belong together!

I use salted butter instead of salting the salmon. The lemon juice adds a nice kick, too.

By cloudel — On Feb 02, 2013

I had steamed salmon in sushi before. To me, it just tasted too raw. I know it had been lightly steamed, but it still had that slick fishy texture.

I prefer smoked salmon. I like to put it in salads with cucumbers and onions.

By lighth0se33 — On Feb 01, 2013

Salmon is great grilled! If I go to a restaurant that offers grilled salmon, I always order it.

It really doesn't need a whole lot of seasoning to be good. It has such a naturally rich flavor, so it doesn't need help.

In fact, seasoning could actually negatively affect the flavor. There aren't too many herbs and spices that complement salmon.

By Oceana — On Feb 01, 2013

I've never had truly fresh salmon, because I don't fish. I'm too scared of catching the wrong kind and getting in trouble for keeping it.

I do like to eat canned salmon, though. It tastes awesome with a little teriyaki sauce. I put in on crackers and have it for lunch.

By catapult43 — On Nov 08, 2009

Just one salmon will deposit a few thousand eggs in the nest the salmon prepares, usually in the gravel, however, few of the eggs will hatch and grow into adult salmon.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.