Also found in: Dictionary, Medical, Wikipedia.


a young salmon that returns to fresh water after one winter in the sea



a male salmon in spawning livery. The jaws are elongated, with the upper one being curved and the lower having a claw. Large teeth appear on the jaws and tongue. The body is covered with irregularly shaped reddish and yellowish spots.

Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
Ian Dawson, fishing a black and red shrimp had a magnificent 4lb grilse, but with the water levels having dropped again many of the fish have potted up or moved to the upper stretches.
It is beginning to improve with the water dropping but it remains to be seen whether the bulk of the grilse have already gone upstream.
For five days on a Tay beat last year where we used to catch 150 in the 80s for a week I landed a four pound black grilse, and two parr.
The anglers all tend to be most affable as they wander from pool to pool trying their luck to get a salmon or grilse - grilse being a salmon which has spent only one winter in the sea, hence is younger and smaller.
Anglers were out in force on the River Wear this week after a two-foot lift of water ( rapidly clearing off over 24 hours ( had salmon, grilse and sea trout on the move.
Runs of 10,000 salmon and grilse in its rivers and tributaries are not unusual.
The seals are thought to be the reason that the number of salmon and grilse - young salmon - returning to Scottish rivers is dwindling.
On a visit to the lower Tyne on Tuesday, salmon and some grilse were moving just prior to the tide.
A spokesman for Berwick Salmon Company said catches of both salmon and grilse had been poor and another worrying aspect was the quality of the fish, which were much smaller than usual.
Other rivers like the Tawe, Usk, Rheidol and Dee have also experienced a dramatic improvement in the salmon and grilse runs this autumn.
Grilse are now around in better numbers, and given more water they should offer some fine sport on local rivers.
Nowadays hundreds of thousands of smolts are bred and released, so with the expectation of a two per cent return rate, 50 per cent of which are taken by rod and line - Icelandic grilse are eager takers - it can be roughly calculated how many will return.