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Smoltification

Smoltification is a preparatory adaptation, behavioral, developmental, and physiological changes enabling a  juvenile salmonid fish to adapt from fresh to sea water with a minimum of stress. Salmons transform from parrs living in freshwater to smolts capable of functioning in salty water.

The major changes involve  ion and water regulation  via kidneys and gills. In sea water chloride cells in gills excrete salts and kidneys reduce water loss by actually stopping urine production, whereas in fresh water salts are retained by the gills and the kidneys produce large amounts of diluted urine.

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