Salmon vs. Sea Trout

Salmon vs. Sea Trout

Salmon and sea trout are types of anadromous fish that belong to the salmon family. There are 9 species of salmon that are native to rivers and streams that flow into the North Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. There is only one species of sea trout that is native to rivers of Norway and tributaries of White Sea, Arctic Ocean and Aral Sea. Both salmon and sea trout can be found in the freshwater and marine ecosystems around the world today. Both type of fish are popular among recreational and commercial fishermen. Salmon and sea trout are very similar morphologically, but there are few features that are unique for each of these fish.

Shape and Size of the Body

Salmon has pointed head and slender, streamlined body. Sea trout has roundish head and thickset body. Salmon can reach 20 to 59 inches in length and 15 to 103 pounds of weight. Sea trout can reach 16 to 55 inches in length and 2.2 to 60 pounds of weight.

Mouth and Tail

Sea trout has very large mouth which end beyond eyes. Salmon has much smaller mouth, which does not stretch beyond the line of eyes. Salmon has slender wrist of tail and forked tail, while sea trout has broad wrist of tail and square or convex tail. Salmon's tail is less slippery compared with tail of sea trout.


Sea trout is covered with many black spots, located both above and below lateral line. Salmon has few black spots and they are usually located above lateral line.


Both sea trout and salmon begin their life in the fresh water and migrate toward the sea where they live until they become ready to reproduce. Sea trout spawns in the alpine streams and lakes, and, unlike salmon, it usually survives spawning season and returns back to the sea. Females (sea trout) usually produce around 2000 eggs per season. Salmon often stays in the sea 1 to 5 years, before it becomes ready for spawning. Some species of salmon spend their entire life in the rivers and lakes. Migratory species of salmon are able to travel 900 miles and climb nearly 7000 feet on their way to the spawning areas. They usually die soon after spawning. Females (salmon) can produce around 5000 eggs per season.

Human Diet

Compared with salmon, sea trout is rarely used in human diet. It contains less proteins, fat and calories than salmon. Unlike sea trout, salmon is extensively cultivated in the aquacultures around the world and frequently used in human diet. It is rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D.


Salmon can survive 13 years, while sea trout can survive 20 years in the wild.

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