Salmon is the king of Finnish fish, at least in regard to its size: a fully grown salmon can weigh over 30 kilograms! However, the history of the Finnish salmon is a sad one. At the beginning of the last century there were 18 salmon rivers, now there are only a few rivers left for them spawn in Tornio, Simo, Teno and Naatamo. Pollution, dams and other factors have eradicated important breeding areas for salmon. Due to the pollution, female salmon must be planted in certain areas to encourage reproduction. Salmon are sea fish and only migrate to rivers to breed. Their offspring usually return to the sea. This usually happens when they are between one and five years old, depending on the river.
In spite of the large size salmons never reach the age of ten years. Salmon and trout do not die after spawning like the salmon of the Pacific ocean familiar from nature programs on TV. They are in bad condition after spawning, but they may migrate to spawn even two or three times during their lifetime. Salmon is a voracious beast which preys on for example Baltic herring and crustaceans living on the bottom.