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SALMONIDAE in Fishes of Australia, accessed 02 Mar 2024,

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Family Taxonomy

The salmon, trout, whitefishes and graylings have not been revised comprehensively. Nelson (1994) summarised some of the studies and indicated about 66 species in 11 genera were represented in Northern Hemisphere waters. Large numbers of salmonid species have been stocked in Australian waters over the last 120 years. We have only included the five species in three genera currently maintained in Australian freshwaters by various fisheries departments. Of these species, only rainbow, brown and brook trout have reproducing populations in Australia. Merrick & Schmida (1984) review the biology and distributions of the species in Australia.

Family Distribution

Salmon and trout are restricted to cooler freshwaters in Australia, although a number of Northern Hemisphere species spend time in the ocean.

Family Description

Salmon and trout are characterised by a large mouth, posterior pelvic fins, an adipose fin, small scales and often bright coloration.

Family Size

Maximum length is up to 1.5 m.

Family Feeding

Insects and fishes are important food items.

Family Commercial

All introduced species are of considerable economic importance as a recreational fishery and increasingly as a subject of pond culture.


Merrick, J.R. & Schmida, G.E. (1984). Australian Freshwater Fishes Biology and Management.  Sydney : J.R. Merrick 409 pp. figs 280 col. Figs

Nelson, J.S. (1994). Fishes of the World.  New York : John Wiley & Sons 3rd Edn  600 pp.