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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Sea trout v finnock?

    Quote Originally Posted by tingvollr View Post
    My understanding is that "finnock" are grilse sea trout i.e. returning to spawn for the first time but how do we know for sure without taking a scale sample!
    This commonly said but is wrong.
    A grilse is a one sea winter salmon. It is returning to the river on it's spawning run in the summer/autumn (or even early winter) of the year after it went to sea as a smolt. A salmon smolt that left the river this spring will be a grilse if it comes back next year.

    A finnock is returning to the river in the same summer/autumn (or early winter) in the same year that it went to sea as a smolt. A sea trout smolt that left the river this spring will be a finnock if it comes back this year.
    Thereafter once it has been back to sea (either having spawned or just overwintered in freshwater) it is a sea trout.
    Any that stay at sea for their first winter after smolting will be sea trout after the first sea winter. Occasionally they will stay out at sea for two sea winters without making a spawning.

    So a one sea winter salmon is a grilse but a one sea winter (or one freshwater winter after smolting) sea trout is a sea trout!


    Andy

  2. #22

    Default Re: Sea trout v finnock?

    The Scottish Government have split the sea trout returns into sea trout and finnock since 2004 it seams. Their definition is "Finnock are sea trout which have spent less than a year at sea and are making their first return to fresh water. They may also be known as whitling or herling. Finnock catches have been reported since 2004. "
    There is no size specification so the over a pound = sea trout split that we would tend to use is the best in the circumstances as we can't practically take scale samples of every fish we catch!

    Mike

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  3. #23
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    Default Re: Sea trout v finnock?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cap'n Fishy View Post
    Would you call all these sea trout?










    Complete stab in the dark the fourth and fifth ones are finnock and the third one is a brown trout (there is a thread in that statement!).
    Completely contrary to what I've just written, I've noticed some finnock have very few spots (just like the first two above) whereas the spots appear to become more distinct on almost all older sea trout. I think it is pretty rare to get a sea trout that has spawned that has as few spots as the first two above. On the other hand I've also seen smolts that were nearly black with spots.

    I wonder if the Irish didn't get it right? They don't bother with brown trout and sea trout, they just have brown trout and white trout!


    Andy

  4. #24

    Default Re: Sea trout v finnock?

    Quote Originally Posted by bobmiddlepoint View Post
    This commonly said but is wrong.
    A grilse is a one sea winter salmon. It is returning to the river on it's spawning run in the summer/autumn (or even early winter) of the year after it went to sea as a smolt. A salmon smolt that left the river this spring will be a grilse if it comes back next year.

    A finnock is returning to the river in the same summer/autumn (or early winter) in the same year that it went to sea as a smolt. A sea trout smolt that left the river this spring will be a finnock if it comes back this year.
    Thereafter once it has been back to sea (either having spawned or just overwintered in freshwater) it is a sea trout.
    Any that stay at sea for their first winter after smolting will be sea trout after the first sea winter. Occasionally they will stay out at sea for two sea winters without making a spawning.

    So a one sea winter salmon is a grilse but a one sea winter (or one freshwater winter after smolting) sea trout is a sea trout!


    Andy
    You are probably right Andy but there is so much that we don't know about salmon and when they return to the rivers of their birth for the first time. Maybe the new tagging experiments will tell us more. I have caught "grilse" that were little bigger than a smolt clearly running up a burn with a spawning run. I don't think it is clear cut.

    Mike

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  5. #25
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    Default Re: Sea trout v finnock?

    Quote Originally Posted by tingvollr View Post
    You are probably right Andy but there is so much that we don't know about salmon and when they return to the rivers of their birth for the first time. Maybe the new tagging experiments will tell us more. I have caught "grilse" that were little bigger than a smolt clearly running up a burn with a spawning run. I don't think it is clear cut.

    Mike
    The (very) little I know about Shetland salmon only comes from bits and pieces I've read but I get the impression that the salmon there are a bit odd in their habits and run timings.
    I would suggest that any salmon smolt returning to the river/burn in the same year it has smolted without a sea winter is either confused or in need of research to find out if there really is a different run pattern going on in Shetland!


    Andy

  6. #26

    Default Re: Sea trout v finnock?

    Grilse runs in Shetland are no different to what I experienced in the Western Isles when I was river watcher there. You can expect grilse runs at the end of June or sometimes later into July.

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  7. #27

    Default Re: Sea trout v finnock?

    Quote Originally Posted by bobmiddlepoint View Post
    The bulk of the smolts return in the same summer that they migrate to sea and I don't think smolt size has much if any effect on this. There are some that don't come back in the first summer and these can overwinter at sea to return the next summer as much bigger fish. Some of these will also be the long distance migrants such as you get on the Tweed, fish that might go all the way to Denmark.

    It is odd that the Welsh never came up with a name for finnock when almost everywhere else with sea trout runs has a regional term for them.


    Andy
    Sewin is the broad term and a casual description of peal or finnock would be sewin bach. Specific names for different weights of sewin exist among coracle fishers in west Wales. A sewin weighing between 3lb to 20lb is described as a gwencyn; a twlpyn weighs between 2lb to 3 lb while a sewin of less than 2lb is described as a shinglin.

    The beginning of a fishing session at twilight, as soon as seven stars appear in the sky, is described as clyfwchwr
    Musha rig um du rum da

  8. #28

    Default Re: Sea trout v finnock?

    Quote Originally Posted by bobmiddlepoint View Post
    Complete stab in the dark the fourth and fifth ones are finnock and the third one is a brown trout (there is a thread in that statement!).
    Completely contrary to what I've just written, I've noticed some finnock have very few spots (just like the first two above) whereas the spots appear to become more distinct on almost all older sea trout. I think it is pretty rare to get a sea trout that has spawned that has as few spots as the first two above. On the other hand I've also seen smolts that were nearly black with spots.

    I wonder if the Irish didn't get it right? They don't bother with brown trout and sea trout, they just have brown trout and white trout!


    Andy
    Third one is definitely a finnock or sea trout. It was one of several caught that day in Loch Bharp - all concentrated in the same area. John (Colliedog) and I were catching on the dap and they were bouncing out the water in typical finnock/sea trout fashion...


    Any brownies we have caught in Bharp over the years have been small and black as the Ace of Spades. Here is a similarly-coloured sea trout from East Bi...


    It had sea lice on it. It was the year the flood gates were broken and the whole eastern end of the loch was so salty it wasn't killing the sea lice off - hence it still had them after it had been in long enough to colour-up. I agree neither of them are the typical leaden pewter colour of coloured South Uist sea trout. They are more like the 'greyscale' fish of Loch Lomond that get everyone asking, "Is it a brownie or a sea trout?"... when the answer is, "Yes it is".

    In the past, we have often referred to fish around the pound-or-so as "big finnock/small sea trout", with a degree of uncertainty about it.

    Col

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by diawl bach View Post
    Sewin is the broad term and a casual description of peal or finnock would be sewin bach. Specific names for different weights of sewin exist among coracle fishers in west Wales. A sewin weighing between 3lb to 20lb is described as a gwencyn; a twlpyn weighs between 2lb to 3 lb while a sewin of less than 2lb is described as a shinglin.

    The beginning of a fishing session at twilight, as soon as seven stars appear in the sky, is described as clyfwchwr
    That's easy for you to say!
    Please note that any views expressed in this post may be those of the
    originator and do not necessarily reflect those of the reader.

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Sea trout v finnock?

    Quote Originally Posted by tingvollr View Post
    Grilse runs in Shetland are no different to what I experienced in the Western Isles when I was river watcher there. You can expect grilse runs at the end of June or sometimes later into July.
    Agreed but...


    Quote Originally Posted by tingvollr View Post
    I have caught "grilse" that were little bigger than a smolt clearly running up a burn with a spawning run.

    ...I would say that is very unusual.
    I wonder if it has something to do with the small size of the burns on Shetland. Is it possible that the salmon parr end up using the sea before properly smolting as there isn't sufficient freshwater habitat for them. What you might be seeing is male parr that have dropped down to sea returning with the mature fish to join them on the redds. It is well known that male salmon parr nip in and fertilise some the eggs on many redds.
    That might be totally wrong, it's just a thought.


    Back to the sea trout/finnock question.
    If you have a few 2 - 3lb fish in the catch anything under 1lb is a finnock.
    If you are getting only fish around 12oz then they are all sea trout and some of them weigh 1lb 4oz!
    I base this on long experience of sea trout anglers on lochs...


    Andy

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Sea trout v finnock?

    each of the boats on Loch Maree, had a brass moulding of a trout set onto a thwart this was of a lb fish known on loch Maree as a Finnoch these were returned any thing over that was considered to be a seatrout and could be kept,sadly there are no wooden boats there now,but no gillies either,
    easker1

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