This poses a number of questions/ possible scenarios, which I list below:
1. Is the fish actually a salmon? It certainly looks like one to me. I’ve never seen a spawned out brownie which looks anything like that!
2. If it is indeed a kelt, how did it come to be lying in the main feeder beck of a reservoir? To the best of my knowledge, there is no fish pass at the dam end of Haweswater and the dam itself is obviously impassable. Furthermore, I have fished parts of the outflow – Haweswater Beck – and I would have said that there are sections of this (little waterfalls etc), which would act as a barrier to migratory fish, even in spate conditions.
3. There is a smolt farm at Burneside, just down the road. Could it be that a few fish have been placed in Haweswater from this establishment? If so, would they survive to grow to the sort of size of the fish I found (which I would estimate to be around the 4lb mark when in full condition)? I doubt it, as salmon need to return to their marine feeding grounds to gain weight. A relatively oligotrophic such as Haweswater would almost certainly lack the natural food required to nourish such fish.
I really don’t know the answer to this one and would be grateful for any suggestions you might have……..