Occurs naturally in cold waters flowing into the North Atlantic Ocean. The first attempt to introduce Atlantic salmon to Tasmania was made from Europe in 1864. This, and several other attempts both last century and in the early 1900's, were unsuccessful in establishing wild populations in lakes or streams. In fact, there are no self-sustaining populations recorded in Australia.
Blue to silvery blue on back, silver on the sides and silver white on belly. Small dark spots are present on the back and sides and on the base of the dorsal fin, although these are not particularly bold. Sea dwelling fish are often more silver whilst lake dwelling fish may show a greater degree of spotting. Closely resembles the brown trout. Mouth does not reach past eyes. Tail usually more deeply forked than that of the brown trout.
May reach up to 40 kg in weight in Europe. Brood stocks have been reared to 12 kg, and escapees of up to 10 kg have been caught in Tasmanian waters. Landlocked fish seldom exceed 2-3 kg in weight.
In recent years, a successful reintroduction of this species has occurred for sea-cage aquaculture in Tasmania. Fish were transferred under quarantine from a landlocked hatchery in New South Wales and established in hatcheries supplying a number of sea-cage farms.
They feed on a wide variety of animals including crustaceans, molluscs, both aquatic and terrestrial insects and small fishes.
Escapees from sea cages are present in several bays and estuaries in southern Tasmania and the west coast. In the past some fish have been released into Great Lake and, more recently, Meadowbank Dam.