A boot is a salmon, steelhead or trout that is close to spawning or has already spawned. When salmonids enter their spawning phase, their body begins to change colours and darken. As they struggle to swim upstream, injuries take place and fungus develop at times on their body.
Unlike silver fish, dark spawners are not great for eating. In British Columbia, it is considered unethical to target boots, which should be left alone so they can carry out spawning in peace. Location and seasonal fishing closures take place at times to protect these fish.