One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A young salmon (or trout) after the parr stage, when it becomes silvery and migrates to the sea for the first time.
- ‘Young fish were also reared in hatchery tanks and released as smolts, the stage at which salmon head to sea before traveling to northerly feeding grounds.’
- ‘Perhaps only 50 reach the ocean as smolts - young salmon that have taken on the characteristic silvery color - about two years later.’
- ‘During our 1996 investigations, we found evidence of predation on a salmon smolt by striped bass, and we utilized available ultrasonic tags to monitor the movements of striped bass.’
- ‘One or two years later, the smolts begin to migrate to the Pacific, where they live for one to three years before returning to the river.’
- ‘While in freshwater, Chinook Salmon fry and smolts feed on plankton and then terrestrial and aquatic insects, amphipods and crustaceans.’
Late Middle English (originally Scots and northern English): of unknown origin; compare with smelt.
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