The Diagrams Below Show the Life Cycle of a Species of Large Fish Called the Salmon

Lilie King

Lilie King

Scored a 7 on the Writing Test Twice

The diagrams below show the life cycle of a species of large fish called the salmon.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

This essay question is from Cambridge IELTS 10 Test 4 Writing Task 1.

the diagrams below show the life cycle of a species of large fish called the salmon

Sample Essay

The diagrams display the life cycle of the salmon, which is a large fish species.

Overall, salmon have an average lifespan of 9 years and their life cycle consists of four main stages: egg, fry, smolt, and adult. While the first three stages occur in freshwater, the last one takes place in saline water. (The red part is correct. You can understand it this way: the egg stage, the fry stage, the smolt stage and the adult stage.)

Firstly, salmon eggs are laid among small stones covered by reeds in the upper part of a river, where the current is slow. After the eggs hatch, the baby salmon hide among the stones for approximately 5 to 6 months to mature into fry that measure 3 to 8 centimeters long. They then swim to the lower, faster-flowing part of the river. After growing and feeding here for about 4 years, they reach 12 to 15 centimeters and are considered smolts.

They then head to the oceans where they grow into adult salmon which average 70 to 76 centimeters long. They spend around 5 years here, after which they migrate upstream to their birthplace to spawn, and the entire journey is repeated all over again.

179 Words

Common Mistake

  • The plural form of “salmon” is also “salmon”, not “salmons”.

✅The salmon has an average lifespan of 9 years. (Here, “the salmon” refers to the species and therefore is singular.)
✅Salmon have an average lifespan of 9 years. (Here, “salmon” refers to the fish themselves and therefore is plural.)

  • When meaning small fish, “fry” is both singular and plural.


The diagrams are very misleading. For example, it looks like only after salmon leave the oceans do they become adults. However, in fact, it is in the oceans that they grow into adults. I suggest you read some articles online to get an idea of when salmon grow into fry, smolts and adults.

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on whatsapp
Share on WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *