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Atlantic Salmon & Trout Parr Recognition

 
 
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Salmon and trout Parr

Salmon and trout parr are not so easy tell apart unless you get hold of them. Fry are even worse! When viewed in the water salmon fry and parr tend to be isolated. Salmon are much more territorial, so if you see a shoal of fry or parr they are much more likely to be trout. Salmon parr also tend to keep to the faster riffles. They have bigger pectoral fins, which they use to hold station in the fast water. Trout are less well adapted to these conditions and seek out slacker water. Contrary to the beliefs of the old time salmon keepers there is little competition between the two species since they prefer different environments.

salmon and trout parr

Salmon Parr can normally be distinguished from young Brown/Sea Trout by:

  1. the more streamlined shape

  2. deeply forked tail

  3. longer pectoral fin

  4. lack of orange on the adipose fin

  5. smaller mouth

  6. sharper snout

  7. only 1-4 spots on gill cover (often one large spot)

  8. well defined parr marks.

  9. shorter maxilla (does not extend beyond the eye)

Parr are the future stocks of a river. Take particular care with them. Make sure they always go back unharmed.

Published courtesy of the Atlantic Salmon Trust and Robin Ade. The above information is printed by the Trust as both a wall poster and post cards. Reproduction is much better than can be achieved on the web. The poster in particular is a must for fishing huts and educational establishments.

The Atlantic Salmon Trust
7 Kirkmichael Road
Pitlochry
PH16 5JQ
Tel. 01796 473 439

 
 
 

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