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Encyclopedia > Fish migration

Many types of fish undertake migrations on a regular basis, on time scales ranging from daily to annual, and with distances ranging from a few meters to thousands of kilometers. The purpose usually relates to either feeding or breeding; in some cases the reason for migration is still unknown. A giant grouper at the Georgia Aquarium Fish are aquatic vertebrates that are typically cold-blooded; covered with scales, and equipped with two sets of paired fins and several unpaired fins. ... mtDNA-based chart of large human migrations. ...

Migratory fish are classified according to the following scheme:

  • diadromous fish travel between salt and fresh water (Greek: 'Dia' is between)
    • anadromous fish live in the sea mostly, breed in fresh water (Greek: 'Ana' is up)
    • catadromous fish live in fresh water, breed in the sea (Greek: 'Cata' is down)
    • amphidromous fish move between fresh and salt water during some part of life cycle, but not for breeding (Greek: 'Amphi' is both)
  • potamodromous fish migrate within fresh water only (Greek: 'Potamos' is river)
  • oceanodromous fish migrate within salt water only (Greek: 'Oceanos' is ocean)

The best-known anadromous fish are salmon, which hatch in small freshwater streams, go down to the sea and live there for several years, then return to the same streams where they were hatched, spawn, and die shortly thereafter. Salmon are capable of going hundreds of kilometers upriver, and humans must install fish ladders in dams to enable the salmon to get past. Other examples of anadromous fish are sea trout, three-spined stickleback, and shad. Illustration of a male Coho Salmon The Chinook or King Salmon is the largest salmon in North America and can grow to 1. ... Pool-and-weir fish ladder at Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River Fishways, most commonly referred to as fish ladders but also known as fish passes, are structures placed on or around man-made barriers (such as dams and weirs) to assist the natural migration of diadromous fishes. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Trinomial name Salmo trutta fario Salmo trutta trutta The Brown Trout (Salmo trutta fario) and the Sea Trout (Salmo trutta trutta) are subspecies distinguished chiefly by the fact that the Brown Trout is largely a freshwater fish, while the Sea Trout shows anadromous reproduction, spawning in fresh water but migrating... Binomial name Gasterosteus aculeatus Linnaeus, 1758 // The three-spined stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus, is native to much of northern Europe, northern Asia and North America. ... Species See text. ...

The most remarkable catadromous fish are freshwater eels of genus Anguilla, whose larvae drift on the open ocean, sometimes for months or years, before travelling thousands of kilometres back to their original streams (see eel reproduction). For other uses, see Eel (disambiguation). ... Juvenile eels, length ca. ...

Diel vertical migration is a common behavior; many marine species move to the surface at night to feed, then return to the depths during daytime. Diel vertical migration refers to a pattern of movement that some organisms living in the oceans photic zone undertake each day. ...

A number of large marine fishes, such as the tuna, migrate north and south annually, following temperature variations in the ocean. These are of great importance to fisheries. A shoal of skipjack tuna Tuna are several species of ocean-dwelling fish in the family Scombridae, mostly in the genus Thunnus. ... A lobster boat unloading its catch in Ilfracombe harbour, North Devon, England. ...

Freshwater fish migrations are usually shorter, typically from lake to stream or vice versa, for spawning purposes.

See also

Lake Tahoe, headwater sub-basin of the Truckee River watershed The DSSAM Model (Dynamic Stream Simulation and Assessment. ... Pool-and-weir fish ladder at Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River Fishways, most commonly referred to as fish ladders but also known as fish passes, are structures placed on or around man-made barriers (such as dams and weirs) to assist the natural migration of diadromous fishes. ... River in Madagascar relatively free of sediment load An hydrological transport model is a mathematical model used to simulate river or stream flow and calculate water quality parameters. ... Annual mean sea surface salinity for the World Ocean. ... Stenohaline describes an organism, ussually fish, that cannot handle a wide fluctuation in the salt content of water. ... Euryhaline organisms are able to adapt to a wide range of salinities. ...


  • Carl E. Bond, Biology of Fishes, 2nd ed. (Saunders, 1996), pp. 599-605.
  • Michael Blumm, J.D., Sacrificing the Salmon: A Legal and Policy History of the Decline of Columbia Basin Salmon, Bookworld Publications, 2002.

  Results from FactBites:
Migration - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (286 words)
Animals may also migrate to a certain location to breed, as is the case with some fish.
The longest known migration of a bird is that of the Arctic Tern, which migrates from the Arctic to the Antarctic and back each year.
Piercing migration, where a piece of body jewelry, during or after healing, shifts or is rejected by the body.
  More results at FactBites »



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