Back-calculated growth and size of Atlantic salmon smolts were compared in two groups of river systems in Newfoundland. One group consisted of rivers dominated by lacustrine habitats while the other had rivers characterized by fluvial habitats. Back-calculated length at each age and smolt size was significantly higher for the rivers dominated by lacustrine habitats. Associated with this was a lower proportion of maiden large salmon in adult returns. These findings are discussed in relation to density in fresh water, environmental conditions at sea, and life-history strategy.