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Atlantic Salmon



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The Last Waltz?
Photograph by Paul Nicklen

A female salmon hugging the bottom of Quebec's St. Jean River hunts for the perfect spot to dig her redd, while her prospective mate hovers above. Unlike Pacific salmon, which die after spawning, Atlantic salmon can survive to spawn again, though less than 30 percent manage to do it. How salmon migrate thousands of miles to sea and then return to their natal rivers is still a mystery, but researchers suspect that they use Earth's magnetic field to find their way. Local currents and odors—imprinted on the memories of young salmon leaving the rivers—may also serve as beacons that help guide them home.

Photo Fast Facts

Camera: Nikon F4 in Nexus F4 pro housing
Film Type: Ektachrome 100
Lens: Nikon 20mm f/2.8
Speed and F-Stop: 1/8 @ f/11

Weather Conditions: Sunny
Time of Day: Late afternoon
Lighting Techniques: Natural light combined with two Ikelite SS200 strobes
Special Equipment or Comments: I used a 60-pound (30-kilogram) weight to maintain stability at the bottom of the river bed.



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