Home Is Where I Want to Go

Salmon leaping in the waterfall

This fish goes up the waterfalls, oceans and rivers in giant leaps. No matter how tough it is, this fish goes on and on. It wriggles and twists but neither the strong waterfall nor the heavy currents of the ocean are able to stop it. The name of this fish is Salmon. And do you know where it is heading? It is heading up and up towards a journey which will take it  back to the peaceful quiet waters where they grew up. That is their home after all :)

Salmon are very peculiar fish. They hatch in fresh water but when they are old enough, they move into the ocean as they need saltwater to survive. When they are ready to lay eggs they go back to their home waters. That is why Salmon are anadromous (they are born in fresh water, migrate to the ocean, then return to fresh water to reproduce).


You must be wondering how they return to the same waters that they were born in. Do they have a GPS or what? The fact is that nobody knows for sure. Scientists do suggest that they use sense of smell to reach their destination. They travel for days together and do not eat anything in between while they are traveling. Once they reach their home waters, the female salmon uses her tail digging a shallow hole, called a redd. They dig up redds to lay roe or eggs.  The redd may sometimes contain 5,000 eggs. The color of eggs usually varies from orange to red. Typically a salmon makes 7 or 8 redds.

The eggs have hatched, this is how young salmon looks with a sac fry, full of nutrition

When the eggs hatch and baby salmon grow to the size that is as long as your finger, they leave their homes and move to the ocean. They have an extremely funny way of steering themselves. They float backwards down the river tails first and heads last. It is a dangerous and a long journey. If they are not gobbled up on the way and they reach ocean, they get longer, bigger and fatter. They stay there until they are ready to be homeward bound again.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *