Recently a new cavitation model has been proposed in which bubble formation in aqueous media in initiated by spherical gas nuclei stabilized by surface-active membranes of varying gas permeability. In previous application of the varying permeability model, good agreement has been obtained with experimental limits in pressure reduction for gelatin, rats, and humans following steady-state exposures. We new extend this investigation to fingerling salmon and demonstrate that a satisfactory description of the decompression data of D' Aoust et al. (Undersea Biomed Res 1980; 7:199-209) is provided by the model with parameter values that are similar to those found for other physical and biological systems. This adds further evidence for the generally of the model as well as for the importance of bubble nucleation as the primary and controlling event in decompression sickness.