Definition of kelt in US English:



  • A salmon or sea trout after spawning and before returning to the sea.

    • ‘It is sometimes claimed large trout caught in February are being illegally taken as kelts.’
    • ‘If I have kept abreast of the frequent developments on the Tay, then you may not fish with bait early in the season to limit the damage done to kelts before they return, and this is only good sense.’
    • ‘They have enjoyed eating pike, dace, salmon kelt, trout and lots of perch.’
    • ‘A number of kelts have recently been caught on the Yorkshire Ouse system.’
    • ‘Smaller fish and kelt must be thrown back immediately.’


Middle English: of unknown origin.