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The male salmon of the River Ness

We’ve got some wonderful live wildlife cameras in the River Ness, in Scotland, following the fortunes of the Atlantic salmon that come there to spawn. And you can even get to know the individual characters with this handy guide from Chris Conroy, River Director & Clerk of the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board.

See if you can spot any of the regulars on the live camera!

A few weeks after returning from the sea and entering freshwater, Atlantic salmon lose their silvery colouration and start to change to their breeding dress. Individual Atlantic salmon may seem very similar, but each fish has unique natural markings. This includes dark pigment spots called ‘melanophores’. Individual fish can be identified from their melanophore patterns (known as ‘melanophore constellations’). Some fish also have distinctive scars caused by predator damage or the teeth of other fish.

We have captured images of some of the regular visitors to this part of the River Ness this year and highlighted their melanophore patterns (red circles) and any distinctive scars (red arrow). We have concentrated on the males as they tend to hang around longer than the females. Some of these fish have been in the area for over a month already.

See if you can spot any of the regulars on the live camera!

Salmon 1 – Captain Hook

Salmon 2 - Albert

Salmon 3 – Scarface

Salmon 4 – Clarence

Salmon 5 – Clifford

Salmon 6 – Scruffy

Salmon 7 – Edmund

Salmon 8 – Frank

Salmon 9 – Gerald

Salmon 10 – Harold

Salmon 11 – Howard

Salmon 12 – Jasper

Salmon 13 – Kenneth

Salmon 14 – Louis

Salmon 15 – Marshall

Salmon 16 – Neville

Salmon 17 – Otis

Salmon 18 – Ralph

Salmon 19 – Rodney

Salmon 20 – Stanley