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a young salmon that returns to fresh water after one winter in the sea
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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At one time, I would have been confident to say that any fish weighing less than 6lbs would be a grilse - in fact, I thought a two-sea winter fish would weigh at least 12lbs.
"On my fifth cast in the tail of the Barrage pool, where a couple of grilse were showing, I had a very gentle take.
George Renwick landed a 14lb salmon on fly and Daniel Patterson caught a 6lb 6oz grilse on fly.
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."
(1986), that smaller smolt are more likely to return as 2SW salmon, rather than 1SW grilse. Unfortunately we cannot tie these speculations into any extensive history of fluctuations in grilse numbers, as these were illegal in the Miramichi fishery and their capture for the most part successfully avoided.
Huge returns of grilse then followed with occasional bigger fish.
A fresh run six pound grilse (Atlantic salmon) covered with sea lice.
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.
At the time of writing there seems to be a marked shortage of summer grilse. This happens from time to time, but unusually this year the grilse runs have been substituted by runs of much bigger two-sea winter salmon.