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  1. #11

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    It is generally accepted that a fish 7lb or less is a grilse which is not always true as a fish over 7lb is not always a msw fish if half the grilse run of a river enters in may would the other half of the run entering in late August be larger even if the are from the same gene pull
    Last edited by SOS; 11-01-2018 at 02:48 PM. Reason: spelling mistake

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by SOS View Post
    It is generally accepted that a fish 7lb or less is a grilse which is not always true as a fish over 7lb is not always a msw fish if half the grilse run of a river enters in may would the other half of the run entering in late August be larger even if the are from the same gene pull
    Yes. I highly recommend reading Malloch. He covers this in great detail. To summarise salmon grow faster in summer than winter. The longer a fish feeds the bigger it will be. A rivers smolts emigrate together over a short period, ergo the later they return the larger they will be on average. A May grilse, very far from common in most rivers, might be 2 to 3lbs, an October grilse from the same river might be 10 to 12lb. There is mighty variation though. One day in June last season I caught a grilse of 1lb 5oz and one of 6 and a half pounds, both with long tailed and both seemingly from the same run. Most of the grilse I caught that day were around 4 to 5lb with only a couple bigger and a couple smaller but it shows how much variation there can be. I've caught grilse of less than 2lb with long tailed lice in late October. I've also caught grilse over 6lb in May. I once caught a 5lb Salmon and a 5.5lb grilse on the same day!

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loxie View Post
    I once caught a 5lb Salmon and a 5.5lb grilse on the same day!
    Help please Loxie !! For those of us who these days may only see a small handful, or less, salmon per year, can you please describe the visual differences between salmon and grilse of the sort of sizes you mention above ???

    With C&R and good practice of keeping fish in the water when unhooking etc, what are the visual indicators to differentiate a grilse from a sub-7lb salmon ???

    Thanks
    Nick

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stockybasher View Post
    Help please Loxie !! For those of us who these days may only see a small handful, or less, salmon per year, can you please describe the visual differences between salmon and grilse of the sort of sizes you mention above ???

    With C&R and good practice of keeping fish in the water when unhooking etc, what are the visual indicators to differentiate a grilse from a sub-7lb salmon ???

    Thanks
    Nick
    It's not always obvious! Generally speaking grilse tend to have smaller heads, thicker wrists and smaller looking more forked tails. Other than by scale reading you cannot be certain but it is amazing how consistently people who handle a lot of salmon identify the difference. Most experienced ghillies I've met can tell very easily at a glance.

    To be honest from a purely practical angling perspective I don't think it matters a jot!

  5. #15

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    To get back to whether salmon put on much growth if they return to sea and feed before a second or third spawning. I can refer to the River Tay kelt reconditioning unit. There they have kept kelts for up to 8 years stripping them each year, re-conditioning them and feeding them on again for the following year. After being stripped of eggs or milt they are slowly tempted to start eating again by literally tickling them on the nose with prawns until they eventually snatch one and remember what it tastes like. Then they gradually reintroduce them to pellets again. These fish are well fed and pampered in ideal temperatures and conditions but even after 8 years of this they will only have grown by a few pounds in weight.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wee-Eck View Post
    To get back to whether salmon put on much growth if they return to sea and feed before a second or third spawning. I can refer to the River Tay kelt reconditioning unit. There they have kept kelts for up to 8 years stripping them each year, re-conditioning them and feeding them on again for the following year. After being stripped of eggs or milt they are slowly tempted to start eating again by literally tickling them on the nose with prawns until they eventually snatch one and remember what it tastes like. Then they gradually reintroduce them to pellets again. These fish are well fed and pampered in ideal temperatures and conditions but even after 8 years of this they will only have grown by a few pounds in weight.
    That makes sense. And it's worth noting that the OP asks about a fish that "...spawns and is lucky enough to survive and returns to sea then a year or two later returns to the river to spawn again".

    Fish that survive spawning to make a second run can be divided into two groups. Some of them will spawn in consecutive years - i.e. they will go down as kelts in the spring and return later that same year to spawn again. I think these are sometimes called 'short cycle' fish. They only have a few months to recover condition, and in fact can weigh less on their second run than on their first. I've seen a few of these fish, and even when fresh-run they can look noticeably thin and kelty. By the sound of it, the Tay hatchery fish fall into this category.

    But there are also so-called 'long cycle' fish, which take a year out between spawning runs. These will descend as kelts and not return until the following year, so will have more or less a full twelve months and possibly quite a bit more, to recover. As you might imagine, these fish will put on quite a bit of extra weight in that time.

    I don't have my copy of Malloch to hand, but from memory I think he again details all this.

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