How to Breed Salmon Fish

By Rachel Rosman; Updated July 05, 2017
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Salmon farms and hatcheries raise large quantities of salmon in tanks or enclosures and manually breed the fish for commercial profit. Though farmed salmon makes up the vast majority of salmon products sold in U.S. stores, controversy arises from the practice of aquaculture. A high prevalence of disease occurs in the unnaturally close quarters of salmon tanks, and farmed salmon can escape from their enclosures and decimate wild salmon populations.

while in the wild, salmon migrate thousands of miles from their ocean habitat to spawn, or breed, in their natal stream (reference 3).

Separate the salmon by gender, placing males in one pool and females in another. In spawning season, male Atlantic salmon develop a hooked jaw, called a Kyle, while feeling the female salmon's belly determines whether or not she's ready to spawn.

Place salmon in a large tub of water containing fish anesthetic.

Hold the female salmon over a spawning pan and inject compressed air into its body cavity. This expells eggs, or roe, from a vent on the salmon's underside. (reference 1)

Strip the milt, or sperm, from the male salmon by squeezing it from a vent opening on the salmon's underside. Add the milt to the eggs in the spawning bucket.

Use a paintbrush to combine the milt and roe. This ensures the fertilization of each egg.

Wait 30 seconds to one minute, then rinse the eggs with freshwater and strain the excess liquid.

Place the fertilized eggs from each different female into individual incubator trays.

About the Author

Rachel Rosman started writing in 1997 as a movie reviewer for her local newspaper. She currently writes for a Boston-based daily deals website. Rosman graduated cum laude from Brandeis University in 2011, earning a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and creative writing