Where have all the ice smelt gone? N.H. ice shanties are empty, the catch in Maine is down, environmentalists struggle for answers

surveys smelt fishingThe fishermen are gone now because the smelt are gone. Catches of 60, 70, 100 smelt on a tide — the six-hour period between low and high tides — were routine. What happened? Some say it’s just a cycle, though the decline has been steady since the state began smelt surveying in the early 1980s. Studies blame the high levels of nitrogen washing into the bay from septic systems, lawn fertilizer and sewage treatment plants. The nitrogen prompts algae blooms that smother the grass and quite possibly smelt eggs clinging to the bottom in tidal headwaters. Read the rest here 09:48