UK salmon anglers... some help, please
I recently read an online article reporting on Jan/Feb fishing results out your way. Catches were predictably poor and included 'kelts and baggots, but hopes for a spring salmon'. Baggots was a new term to me, so I inquired as to it's meaning. I was told they are fish from the previous season that did not spawn (and intimated that they are, like kelts, headed back to sea). Steelhead are managed by declaring them summer or winter run (for statistical convenience). In the PNW, we don't have a word for an unspawned adult (well, 'maiden' sometimes for first return and 'ripe' if dark and bloated). Our expectation is that unspawned fish still intend to spawn and are headed upstream, not down. I've caught ripe, silvery winter steelhead the last week of May (nowhere near any spawning gravel). I've quizzed local biologists and the collective opinion is that unpaired steelhead shed their eggs/milt before leaving spawning areas (thus, they are kelts, as are successful spawners). I did learn of an infrequent instance where wild broodstock which were spawning a second time (at a hatchery) had some shriveled eggs from the previous year and ripe fertile eggs also.
So tell me about baggots. How broadly over salar's range is the term used? Is there more than one meaning, or other terms used to describe them? Did I understand the meaning I was given? Hoping to learn from you. Thanks.