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Do we need to protect sea trout kelts?

Mending sea trout kelts [like overwintered finnock], are very vulnerable to angling and natural predators. Unlike the case with most Atlantic salmon, where repeat spawning is fairly uncommon (generally much less than 10% of the stock), sea trout may spawn for several years, growing substantially in body weight and producing both more numerous and bigger eggs.  Therefore, sea trout kelts are especially important fish to conserve. Although by early spring those which remain in tidal estuaries may be feeding and have regained some of their lost condition, they are usually soft-bellied and lack the firm muscle that they can soon put on in a few weeks of better nourishment at sea.