We are all salmons
Information from “The Lifecycle of Salmon – Salmon in the Classroom“
Eggs: Adult salmon lay their eggs in special nests in the gravel called redds in late autumn in freshwater.
Babies: Adult humans give birth in special places in cities called hospitals in late autumn (Christmas fumble), sometimes in water.
The eggs hatch in the spring time (depending on water temperature) into alevins.
The babies are useless until the springtime when they begin crawling out of their egg like world.
Alevins: Hatch in spring time whilst still under the gravel. They have yolk sacs which they use for food whilst buried in the redds.
They emerge from the gravel about four to six weeks after hatching (depending on water temperature).
Toddlers: Now crawl around whilst under a duvet. They drag around a blanket which they chew upon whilst buried, for some reason, in the washing basket.
They emerge from the washing basket, and, depending on the water temperature (it must be boiling), reach for the cooking pasta.
Fry: After the yolk sacs have been used up, the alevins have to start to feed. At this point they are known as fry. They feed on tiny water organisms and grow quickly during their first year.
Child: After their blanket has been destroyed, it’s time to crack the real world. They begin to feed from “lunch boxes”. The big kids refer to them as “small fry” and lock them in the toilets. They proceed to pick on the smaller than them children, and learn to grow up and be more like an adult (and take on bigger kids).
Parr: The salmon are known as parr once they are over a year old. They stay in freshwater for between one and four years, feeding on small insects and growing larger.
Pre-pubescent: The human is reaching parr in development. They are excelling in life, with friends, family and sweet hoarding in tip top shape. Pity about the music collection. They stay in primary school for four years, feeding on everything smaller than them (everyone else) and out growing their uniform.
Smolts: The parr change into smolts in the spring of their second, third or fourth year. This change from parr into smolts is the process where the salmon are getting ready to head out to sea. Smolts head out to sea in shoals during late spring. They are a very distinctive silver colour.
Teenagers: The human is getting ready to head out to sea. Only, they discover a variety of distinctive markers; everything is shooting up; eye view, hair, opinion of themselves…and for the males, that was certainly silver coloured!
Adult salmon: Adult salmon travel great distances at sea to rich feeding grounds in cold northerly waters and feed on sandeels, krill and herring. The salmon return to the rivers in which they were born after being at sea for one to four years.
Young Adults: Adults go to great distances to show the distances they have covered, going to rich feeding grounds at bars and clubs, feeding upon the fine wares. They must return to where they were born to make peace with their parents, or when they need money, often after a year of ‘independence’.
Adult salmon that return to spawn after one year at sea are known as grilse. Adult salmon that stay more than one year at sea are known as multi-sea winter salmon. Once the salmon start their journey from their feeding grounds, they do not feed – even when they are back in our rivers.
Eventually, the human grows up enough to be battle worn. They have a responsible job, a string of relationship baggage and a house plus company car to boot. They are sated for material good; they now want to mate.
Kelts: After the adult salmon have spawned they are known as kelts. The females have laid all their eggs and appear particularly thin. The male fish are tired out from fighting with other males to make sure they spawn with the best females. Some kelts are able to make it back out to sea, where they will begin to feed and grow strong again. If they are very lucky they may be able to survive long enough to make it back to their river again to spawn.
Scientists estimate that only around 5% of kelts that make it back to sea, and survive, are able to make it back to spawn in our rivers!
Mature adult: Upon settling into domesticated life, they are now known as parents. The ladies have refused to make any more babies for they want to appear thin. The men reckon they could still out-compete the other men for the attractive young waitress’ attention, but he doesn’t mean anything by it (and he knows he can’t get away with it). Baby caring is exhausting, and they long for rest.
Scientists estimate that only around 5% of humans make it back to the sea and achieve those dreams from adolescence.
We are all salmons. We fight the current to survive, and continue to swim against the current even though we know we won’t survive, but only when we find the energy within us, the reason to care.
I write to make people care about things. Therefore, I shall name you all salmons, so you will do so.
Salmons are also tasty!