Smelt

Smelt

Osmerus Mordax

Market Name(s): Rainbow Smelt, Saltwater Smelt, Freshwater Smelt, Icefish

Size Range:  Average 3-5 inch

For such a little fish it sure can cause big excitement for ice fishermen and seafood lovers alike. Because when the weather up north is on the wrong side of zero, it's time to go smelting!

The Rainbow Smelt is a whitefish and the smallest of Acadian's sea-run fish, rarely exceeds 6-9 inches in length and just a few ounces in weight. A member of the salmon family, they were once found as far south as Virginia, although Maine and New Brunswick now boasts their largest commercial catch population. Swimming in schools, smelts are marine fish that spend most of their time in Coastal waters and harbors, but with the cold water seasonal changes of winter will begin to swim up rivers to spawn in estuaries and streams before returning to the sea after the spring thaw. It is during these icy months that fishermen set up their smelt shacks on frozen Coastal rivers and drop their hooks.

Trawls, Pound, Gillnet