Tag Archives: Rainbow smelt

Smeltdown: Small fish continues Great Lakes vanishing act

Like so many fish people associate with the Great Lakes, the rainbow smelt is an invasive species. The approximately 6-inch fish is native to the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, but moves into freshwater to spawn. It was first stocked in Crystal Lake in Benzie County in 1912, after several unsuccessful attempts to stock smelt in the St. Mary’s River to support another transplanted fish, Atlantic salmon. Smelt were found in Lake Michigan in 1923 and then spread throughout the Great Lakes. The commercial harvest of smelt on the Great Lakes reached 4.8 million pounds by 1941. Read the rest here 10:03

Kennebec Journal: OUR OPINION: We need answer to smelt decline before it’s too late

Rainbow smelt were once found as far south as Chesapeake Bay, and were particularly abundant along the Gulf of Maine. Now, the small, tasty fish has disappeared from Connecticut south, in a depopulation so rapid that researchers were too late to pinpoint an exact cause. A similar trend is occurring in Maine, where the smelt numbers are dropping around Kennebec County and southern Maine. Their decline could be a sign that something is wrong with the water, Read more here  03:33

Deep freeze good news for Maine smelt fishing camps – Ice on rivers comes sooner than it has for quite a few years, allowing commercial operations to get the season started.

Commercial smelt camps that most years don’t typically open until mid-January had enough ice to open around Christmas. “We’ve probably got 16 inches of ice, if not more,” said Sonny Newton, owner of Sonny’s Smelt Fishing on the Kennebec River in Dresden. “We started cutting (through the ice) with a 14-inch bar, and we couldn’t get through it. It was 17 below yesterday. It’s making ice.” Read [email protected]  11:29