Tomales Bay, caught salmon fry coming back into the stream at flood tide. This indicates that they regularly travel back and forth with the tides. We should expect this, as it is hardly probable that they know any directions, except with or against the current.
Many experiments were performed at the Hopkins Seaside Laboratory for the purpose of determining the effect of sea-water upon young salmon of various ages. 25,000 salmon were hatched in the laboratory, and at various ages a few were placed in separate tanks and subjected to various mixtures of fresh sea-water. Without going into details of the experiments, the following are the results obtained:
The young of any age can bear with impunity a density of 25 per cent, sea-water; that is, 1 part sea-water to 3 parts fresh water. Not until forty days old, at the time of the complete absorption of the yolk-sac, could they withstand a density of 50 per cent, sea-water. At the age of 50 days 75 per cent, sea-water could be endured. Pure sea-water could be endured at the age of 60 days, though there was a slight loss. It is doubtful whether they can enter salt water with complete impunity until 3 or 4 months old. The loss was much less when the density alternated from low to high and back again, simulating the change of density in the estuaries with the change of tides. In all cases the young salmon died when changed directly from fresh to salt water, or when the density was rapidly increased until that of seawater was reached.
To summarize the notes on migration: The fry begin their down stream migration as soon as they are able to swim. In clear water they travel more at night; in muddy water, as much or more during the day. Much of the time they float down stream tail first. In the larger streams they travel more or less in schools. Their regular migration is not dependent upon the height of the water, but upon age. Their rate of progress is about 10 miles a day, and they are about six weeks in reaching brackish water. They are probably four or five months old when they reach the ocean.