The Salmotrack project headed by Prof. Audun Rikardsen of Troms° University equipped salmon from the Orkla River, Central Norway, with
satellite transmitters to find out more about where the fish is present when they migrate out to sea.

The transmitters were designed to release after six months, and through the winter they have risen to the surface with new knowledge to the researchers.

"What we see now is that some of the salmon migrate very far north. The
northernmost we observed is almost 80 degrees north.

And then we have a number of stocks that seem to cross the Atlantic and back to the area between Iceland and Jan Mayen.

One of the satellite transmitters came up north of Svalbard. Thus, one of the salmon from the Orkla research project is the one that went furthest north. Data from the transmitters indicate that Orkla fish often remain near surface, but some can swim all the way down to 800 meters deep.

More details:

(English) : This salmon surprises scientists

(Norwegian) : Denne laksen overrasker forskerne - NRK Tr°ndelag - NRK Nyheter


SALMOTRACK-project is a primary framework that coordinates most activities in northern Norway on electronic tracking of all life stages on anadromous salmonides, with special emphasis on anadromous species (Atlantic salmon, Arctic charr and sea trout). One of the goals of this project is to coordinate the available logistic and equipment in such a way that as many as possible sub-projects can utilize this in order to maximize the synergetic effects and reduce the total cost of the different sub-projects.

This is probably the largest and most complete fish tracking project ever in Norway on salmonid fishes with a total budged so far of >20 million NOK during 2006-2012.

By use of electronic tags (PIT-, archival-, radio-, acoustic and satellite pop-up-tags) the project has since 2006 covered almost all life history stages of Atlantic salmon, from juveniles to salmon smolts, postsmolts, returning salmon (fjord), ascending, spawning and overwintering salmon (river), salmon kelts (post-spawners) in river, fjord and open ocean, immature fall running salmon, as well as escaped farm salmon, anadromous Arctic charr and sea trout and silver eels migrating within rivers and fjord system.

The main activity for SALMOTRACK in Norway is in the Alta River and Alta Fjord, but the project also involves activities in the Rivers Neiden, Tana, Skibotn, Signaldalen and Orkla. In addition, we also tag salmon in Ireland, Iceland and Greenland.

The project is supported by external funding from the Norwegian Research Council, Troms° Forskninsstiftelse (Moen-foundation), the Norwegian Directorate of Nature Management and others.