The parr-smolt transformation of anadromous salmonids is a suite of behavioral, morphological, and physiological changes that are preparatory for downstream migration and seawater entry. The timing of smolt development varies among species, occurring soon after hatching in pink and chum salmon and after one to several years in Atlantic salmon. In many species the transformation is size dependent and occurs in spring, mediated through photoperiod and temperature cues. Smolt development is stimulated by several hormones including growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor-1, cortisol, and thyroid hormones, whereas prolactin is generally inhibitory. Increased salinity tolerance is one of the most important and tractable changes, and is caused by alteration in the function of the major osmoregulatory organs, the gill, gut, and kidney. Increased abundance of specific ion transporters (Na+/K+-ATPase, Na+/K+/Cl− cotransporter and apical Cl− channel) in gill ionocytes results in increased salt secretory capacity, increased growth and swimming performance in seawater, and higher marine survival.