Once they have started spitting eggs, more than likely they have been actively spawning. The act of digging the redd has a lot to do with the looseness of a skein. There are *some* conditions where that isn't true. But if the belly is flaccid and only dropping a few eggs it's a kelt. If it's full and dropping eggs you got yourself an active spawner. Finally, hatchery fish are a completely different beast altogether. Salmo told me about a fish caught on the Cowlitz that was BRIGHT as hell, and spewing eggs like mad. -- Cheers -- James PS This is a question for the bios. I was under the impression that the red color (in the right places) as a signal to bucks that a female was ready. Unless that occurs, how does a male know that a female is ready to drop eggs? Is it a guess or otherwise?