Most freshwater fish cannot survive in salt water. If they were put into a saltwater environment, they would lose weight and eventualy die because they would lose water from their bodies (from osmosis and diffusion). A select few species of fish can adapt to saltwater or freshwater environments if the move is done very gradually, and some fish (such as eels and salmon) can move freely between the two, but these are the exceptions to the rule.
Freshwater fish will die in salt water due to osmosis. Osmosis is the principle that water will flow from a low salt area across a membrane to a higher salt area (It actually applies to all solutes and solvents, not just water and salt). Because of the salt in the water, water will flow from inside the fish to the salted water. It is the same thing that happens when a slug is covered in salt, or when you gargle salt water to cure a sore throat.
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