: a young salmon or sea trout about two years old that is at the stage of development when it assumes the silvery color of the adult and is ready to migrate to the sea

Examples of smolt in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That last detail was crucial for the truck's cargo: some 102,000 spring Chinook smolts, or young salmon, that had been raised in a hatchery. Bill Chappell, NPR, 4 Apr. 2024 The Nez Perc Tribe, which co-manages the area’s salmon fishery with the ODFW, helped the department collect the dead smolts that didn’t make it into the water while also scanning for trackable tags and tallying the loss. Kris Millgate, Field & Stream, 5 Apr. 2024 About 77,000 of the smolts made it into the water of Lookingglass Creek below—but 25,529 were not so lucky. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 Apr. 2024 Of the approximately 102,000 spring Chinook smolts that spilled out of the 53-foot truck last week, more than 25,000 fish didn’t survive. Elizabeth Robinson, NBC News, 5 Apr. 2024 According to the agency: The smolts lost represent about 20 percent of the total that will be released into the Imnaha River this year. Owen Bellwood / Jalopnik, Quartz, 3 Apr. 2024 Hatchery officials want to release 1.25 million salmon fry, 1.75 million salmon smolts (slightly older fish) and 250,000 salmon yearlings this year. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 8 Mar. 2024 Those could include critical habit protections and expanding ways to protect king salmon smolt — among other measures the group lists. Tribune News Service, Hartford Courant, 15 Jan. 2024 Common and red-breasted mergansers, also known as fish ducks, do indeed eat a wide variety of fish, including salmon smolts, trout, minnows, shad, and game fish. M.d. Johnson, Field & Stream, 2 Nov. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'smolt.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English (Scots)

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of smolt was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near smolt

Cite this Entry

“Smolt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/smolt. Accessed 24 Jul. 2024.

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