SAL­MON FACT FILE

Countryfile Magazine - - Salmon -

1. Sal­mon and brown trout (above) are so closely re­lated that they can some­times hy­bridise and weirdly, those hy­brids can be fer­tile. This hap­pens more on some rivers than oth­ers.

2. Sal­mon skin con­tains mag­netite, a mag­netic min­eral, that may ac­count for their unerring nav­i­ga­tional skills.

3. Once a sal­mon en­ters fresh­wa­ter it stops feed­ing. Sal­mon that re­turn in spring must sur­vive un­til the win­ter to spawn.

4. Most sal­mon die af­ter spawn­ing, but a few sur­vive and there is ev­i­dence that these fish (‘kelts’) es­cort the younger fish on the start of their mi­gra­tion.

5. Young sal­mon are fiercely ter­ri­to­rial but can recog­nise their own sib­lings by scent and will tol­er­ate them more than sal­mon to whom they are not re­lated.

6. The River Thames was once one of the great­est sal­mon rivers in Europe. Leg­end has it that Henry III kept a po­lar bear in the Tower of Lon­don and trained it to catch sal­mon. 7. The big­gest sal­mon ever caught on rod and

line in Bri­tain weighed 64lbs. It was caught by Miss Ge­orgina Ballantine on the River Tay in 1923 and weighed more than half as much as she did!

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