When do sea trout return to sea after spawning?
Sea trout do not usually die after spawning. Around 75% of sea trout are
Devonshire Avon sea trout hold an interesting record: a 15 lb fish from
the Avon (Devon) spawned eight times ... this appears to be the greatest
number of repeat spawnings recorded for English ... sea trout." ( Harris
& Morgan "Successful Sea Trout Angling", 1996 )
After a period of residence in freshwater and before returning to sea,
the surviving sea trout kelts regain a silvery sheen. But the return date
varies: Some return shortly after spawning, the majority may overwinter
in freshwater and migrate to sea in March and April. A few may stay in
the river until May. (Menzies,
Sea Trout and Trout. page 129).
Overwintering sea trout could be mistaken for brown trout during their
period of residency.
Bluett (page 17) explains the implication thus:"It is my opinion that
some of the so-called brown trout, of two pounds and more, which are occasionally
taken in May and June, are really sea trout which ran up nearly twelve
months previously and which have wintered in what was their nursery."
Could it be that some so-called 'cannibal' trout in our river had spawned,
overwintered in the river, and would have returned to sea sometime between
March and April or even as late as May the next year?
Cannibal trout were removed from the Avon in 1948 over a 6 week period
( perhaps between 15th March and 30th April ) before stocking with 6 inch