Salmon is the common name for several species of fish in the family Salmonidae. Several other fish in the same family are called trout, the difference is often said to be that salmon migrate and trout are resident, but this distinction does not strictly hold true. Salmon live along the coasts of both the North Atlantic (one migratory species Salmo salar) and Pacific Oceans (approximately a dozen species of the genus Oncorhynchus), and have also been introduced into the Great Lakes of North America. Salmon are intensively produced in aquaculture in many parts of the world.
Typically, salmon are anadromous, they are born in fresh water, migrate to the ocean, then return to fresh water to reproduce. However, there are populations of several species that are restricted to fresh water through their life. Folklore has it that the fish return to the exact spot where they were born to spawn, tracking studies have shown this to be true, and this homing behavior has been shown to depend on olfactory memory.
The salmon has long been at the heart of the culture and livelihood of coastal dwellers. Many people of the Northern Pacific shore had a ceremony to honor the first return of the year. For many centuries, people caught salmon as they swam upriver to spawn. A famous spearfishing site on the Columbia River at Celilo Falls was inundated after great dams were built on the river. The Ainu, of northern Japan, trained dogs to catch salmon as they returned to their breeding grounds en masse. Now, salmon are caught in bays and near shore.
Salmon population levels are of concern in the Atlantic and in some parts of the Pacific. Alaska fishery stocks are still abundant, and catches have been on the rise in recent decades, after the state initiated limitations in 1972. Some of the most important Alaskan salmon sustainable wild fisheries are located near the Kenai River, Copper River, and in Bristol Bay. Fish farming of Pacific salmon is outlawed in the United States Exclusive Economic Zone, however, there is a substantial network of publicly funded hatcheries, and the State of Alaska's fisheries management system is viewed as a leader in the management of wild fish stocks. In Canada, returning Skeena River wild salmon support commercial, subsistence and recreational fisheries, as well as the area's diverse wildlife on the coast and around communities hundreds of miles inland in the watershed. The status of wild salmon in Washington is mixed. Out of 435 wild stocks of salmon and steelhead, only 187 of them were classified as healthy; 113 had an unknown status, 1 was extinct, 12 were in critical condition and 122 were experiencing depressed populations. The Columbia River salmon population is now less than 3% of what it was when Lewis and Clark arrived at the river. The commercial salmon fisheries in California have been either severely curtailed or closed completely in recent years, due to critically low returns on the Klamath and or Sacramento Rivers, causing millions of dollars in losses to commercial fishermen. Both Atlantic and Pacific salmon are popular sportfish.
Salmon populations now exist in all the Great Lakes. Coho stocks were planted in the late 1960s in response to the growing population of nonnative alewife by the state of Michigan. Now Chinook (King), Atlantic, and Coho (silver) salmon are annually stocked in all Great Lakes by mosts bordering states and provinces. These populations are not self sustaining and do not provide much in the way of a commercial fishery, but have led to the development of a thriving sportfishery.
|Spawning Sockeye Salmon - photo from Wikipedia|
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2 cans salmon, flaked
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Vegetable oil, for frying
Heat oil in medium skillet, over medium heat. Combine canned salmon, egg, 1/4 cup bread crumbs, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Form into patties and dust each patties with additional bread crumbs. Fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Enjoy!
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