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(salmon), a family of fishes of the order Clupeiformes. The body is covered with thick scales, and the lateral line is complete. The dorsal fin has fewer than 17 rays; there is a fatty fin. The stomach is a widened loop of the intestine. The oviducts are either rudimentary or absent.
The Salmonidae include freshwater and anadromous fishes of the northern hemisphere; a number of species have become acclimatized to waters of the southern hemisphere. Spawning occurs only in freshwaters. There are nine genera: Salmo, Oncorhynchus, Salvelinus, Hucho, Brachymystax (with the single species Brachymystax lenok), Cristivomer, Salmothymus, Stenodus (one species Stenodus leucichthys, with the subspecies Stenodus 1. nelma), and Coregonus.
Members of seven genera are found in the USSR. The genus Salmo has seven species (according to other classifications, ten), four or five of which are encountered in the Soviet Union. The Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), freshwater varieties of the salmon trout (S. trutta) the Sevan trout (S. ischchan), and the mykiss (S. mykiss) are found in the Arctic Ocean, in the northern waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and in the northern parts of the Black, Caspian, and Aral seas.
The genus Oncorhynchus has seven or eight species, six of which are found in the USSR. The chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha—the largest member of the genus), the pink salmon (O. gorbuscha) the chum salmon (O. keta) the coho salmon (O. kisutch) the sockeye salmon (O. nerka), and the masu salmon (O. masu) inhabit the northern Pacific Ocean and the adjoining waters of the Arctic Ocean. The genus Cristivomer has only one species, the lake trout (Cristivomer namaycush) which is found in North American lakes and measures up to 1 m in length. The genus Salmothymus has two species: Salmothymus ochridans is found in Lake Ohrid in Yugoslavia, and S. obtusirostris inhabits the lakes of Dalmatia.
The Salmonidae are commercially valuable fishes. They are caught for food and have been acclimatized to various regions. The world catch is 10 million quintals per year (approximately 3 percent of the total catch of marine fish). Salmon are used as food in raw, salted, and smoked form; they are also canned. The salty red caviar from species of the genus Oncorhynchus is particularly valuable. Several species, such as the chum salmon, the sockeye salmon, and the pink salmon, are decreasing in number.
REFERENCESBerg, L. S. Ryby presnykh vod SSSR i sopredel’nykh stran, 4th ed., part 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1948.
Promyslovye ryby SSSR: Opisanie ryb. (Text for the collection of colored drawings offish.) Moscow, 1949.
Nikol’skii, G. V. Chastnaia ikhtiologiia, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1971.
A. I. SMIRNOV