Salmon Development

From Embryology
Notice - Mark Hill
Currently this page is only a template and will be updated (this notice removed when completed).


The salmon is not a typical model of embryological development, but like other fish the development has a relationship to environmental temperature first demonstrated as early as 1868.[1] There has been a recent photographic study of developmental stages in Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) embryonic development.[2]

Fish Links: Zebrafish Development | Medaka Development | Salmon Development | Movie - Zebrafish Heart | Student Group Project - Zebrafish | Recent References | Category:Zebrafish | Category:Medaka

Color photographic index of fall Chinook salmon embryonic development and accumulated thermal units

PLoS One. 2010 Jul 29;5(7):e11877.

Boyd JW, Oldenburg EW, McMichael GA.

Ecology Group, Battelle, Richland, Washington, United States of America. Abstract BACKGROUND: Knowledge of the relationship between accumulated thermal units and developmental stages of Chinook salmon embryos can be used to determine the approximate date of egg fertilization in natural redds, thus providing insight into oviposition timing of wild salmonids. However, few studies have documented time to different developmental stages of embryonic Chinook salmon and no reference color photographs are available. The objectives of this study were to construct an index relating developmental stages of hatchery-reared fall Chinook salmon embryos to time and temperature (e.g., degree days) and provide high-quality color photographs of each identified developmental stage.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Fall Chinook salmon eggs were fertilized in a hatchery environment and sampled approximately every 72 h post-fertilization until 50% hatch. Known embryonic developmental features described for sockeye salmon were used to describe development of Chinook salmon embryos. A thermal sums model was used to describe the relationship between embryonic development rate and water temperature. Mean water temperature was 8.0 degrees C (range; 3.9-11.7 degrees C) during the study period. Nineteen stages of embryonic development were identified for fall Chinook salmon; two stages in the cleavage phase, one stage in the gastrulation phase, and sixteen stages in the organogenesis phase. The thermal sums model used in this study provided similar estimates of fall Chinook salmon embryonic development rate in water temperatures varying from 3.9-11.7 degrees C (mean=8 degrees C) to those from several other studies rearing embryos in constant 8 degrees C water temperature.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The developmental index provides a reasonable description of timing to known developmental stages of Chinook salmon embryos and was useful in determining developmental stages of wild fall Chinook salmon embryos excavated from redds in the Columbia River. This index should prove useful to other researchers who wish to approximate fertilization dates of Chinook salmon eggs from natural redds, assuming the thermal history of embryos is known.


Stages are timed after fertilization

  • Stage 1 - late morula 34 degree days (dd; 3 d)
  • Stage 2 - blastula 66 dd (6 d)
  • Stage 3 - embryo presence of somites and optic vesicles (epiboly was one-half complete) 96 dd (9 d).


  1. Norris T (1868) American fish-culture, embracing all the details of artificial breeding and rearing of trout: The culture of salmon, shad and other fishes. Philadelphia: Porter and Coates. 292 p.
  2. <pubmed>20686709</pubmed>| PLoS One.






Search Pubmed

Search Pubmed Now: salmon development

External Links

Animal Development: axolotl | bat | cat | chicken | cow | dog | dolphin | echidna | fly | frog | goat | grasshopper | guinea pig | hamster | horse | kangaroo | koala | lizard | medaka | mouse | opossum | pig | platypus | rabbit | rat | salamander | sea squirt | sea urchin | sheep | worm | zebrafish | life cycles | development timetable | development models | K12
Historic Embryology  
1897 Pig | 1900 Chicken | 1901 Lungfish | 1904 Sand Lizard | 1905 Rabbit | 1906 Deer | 1907 Tarsiers | 1908 Human | 1909 Northern Lapwing | 1909 South American and African Lungfish | 1910 Salamander | 1951 Frog | Embryology History | Historic Disclaimer

Glossary Links

Glossary: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | Numbers | Symbols | Term Link

Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2024, June 23) Embryology Salmon Development. Retrieved from

What Links Here?
© Dr Mark Hill 2024, UNSW Embryology ISBN: 978 0 7334 2609 4 - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G