Atlantic Salmon

Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) Family Salmonidae, Trouts

Common names: sea salmon, silver salmon, black salmon, eastern salmon

Description: When in the ocean, Atlantic salmon are silvery with a brown tinted back. Their upper body, head and fins are often marked with small black crosses and dots. Both their head and eyes are small. This fish’s body depth generally measures one ­fourth of its total body length. Like other members of the trout family, they possess a small fleshy adipose fin, located between their single dorsal fin and tail fin.

Where found: inshore Similar Gulf of Maine species: sea­run brown trout, rainbow smelt

Remarks: Atlantic salmon are another anadromous species. Many saltwater sport­fishermen consider these fish to be “the king of fish” because of their great leaping ability and determined fight when hooked. In Maine, fishing for Atlantic salmon is currently prohibited. A variety of fly patterns such as the Brown Bomber and the Green Machine were successfully used, when there was a Maine fishery for Atlantic salmon, and some designs, like the Green Highlander and Jock Scott, go back to the origin of fly fishing history.

Records: MSSAR (Maine State Saltwater Angler Records): CLOSED
IGFA: All­-Tackle World Record

Fish Illustrations by: Roz Davis Designs, Damariscotta, ME (207) 563­2286

Drawings provided courtesy of the Maine Department of Marine Resources Recreational Fisheries program and the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund.

BACK TO: Maine Saltwater Fish Species List