Atlantic Salmon

Salmo salar
Atlantic Salmon - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Salmo salar
Family Salmon / Salmonidae
Size Up to 1.5 m (4.92 ft)
Weight Up to 5.4 kg (12 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution In Australia, stocked in freshwater lakes, dams & some streams
Depth Range 1 - 23 m (3 - 75 ft)
Atlantic Salmon Distribution

Interesting Info

  • Atlantic salmon are a species of anadromous fish that are native to eastern North America and Europe and have been introduced to certain parts of Australia including southern New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
  • They are anadromous, which means they are born in freshwater, migrate to the ocean to grow and mature, and then return to freshwater to spawn.
  • Atlantic salmon have a silver colour on their sides and back, with black spots on the upper half of their body.
  • Atlantic salmon have a varied diet that includes insects, crustaceans, and other small fish.
  • They are important to the food chain, providing food for other fish, birds, and mammals.
  • Estimates of lifespan are 3 to 8 years with some individuals living up to 12 years or more.
Species Interaction

Recreational & Commercial Fishing

Atlantic salmon are an important fish species for both commercial and recreational fishing. Commercial fishing of Atlantic salmon is a major industry in several countries, providing a valuable food source and economic activity. Meanwhile, recreational fishing for Atlantic salmon is popular in many areas and contributes to local economies through tourism.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Salmoniformes

Family: Salmonidae

Genus: Salmo

Species: Salmo salar

Conservation Status

The conservation status of Atlantic salmon in Australia is not formally assessed as a separate species, but the species is generally considered to be of Least Concern based on its global distribution and abundance. They are managed as an invasive species in Australia, and efforts are being made to reduce their impact on native fish populations and habitats.

Fish Taste Quality

Atlantic salmon are known for its mild, buttery flavour and firm, flaky texture. It is commonly served grilled, baked, or smoked, and is often used in sushi and other raw fish dishes.

Taste Rating: 5/5

How to catch
Atlantic Salmon

Catch Difficulty: Intermediate

Tackle: Running Sinker Rig, Artificial Rig

Bait: Herring, Lures, Bait jig, Soft plastics, Live minnow, Insects, Flies

Technique: Slowly sink bait towards bottom, Cast bait/jig/lure near schooling fish, Trolling, Cast lures with a fast retrieve

Popularity: Highly Targeted

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