|Life Cycle of Salmon|
All Atlantic salmon spawn naturally in freshwater. The broodstock used to obtain the eggs (ova) from which our salmon are grown are carefully raised in the UK, Ireland and Norway. Towards the year-end, the eggs are stripped from the female (hen) fish and fertilised with milt from the male (cock) fish. The eggs begin developing immediately after fertilisation, and are then incubated in trays in our hatcheries.
Fry / Parr
Fry develop into Parr in about 4 months, identifiable by vertical stripes and spots for camouflage. They remain in freshwater tanks or lochs until they have grown to 10-24cm when they change physiologically (smoltification) to develop for life in the sea. There are internal changes in the salt-regulating mechanisms and their appearance becomes silvery. Instead of swimming against the current, the smolt moves with it and is now ready for transfer to sea.
Parr which is smolt by their second spring are called ‘S1s’. The light and water temperatures can be altered to encourage some parr to smolt six months early; these are known as ‘S0s’. We use S0s and S1s to stock sea sites within different management areas to ensure a steady supply of market size salmon. Transfer to sea water lochs is by well-boat, helicopter or by road tanker, here they will grow for the next 12 to 18 months, fed on a diet specially formulated for their complete nutritional needs, and as close as possible to the diet of a wild salmon.
The smolt develops into the adult salmon and is kept in pens in sea lochs for 12-18 months. A nutritionist is employed to plan the optimal feeding regimes to meet their complete nutritional needs and to ensure healthy growth.