Smelt Life History, Fishery and Historical Information

Bigelow, Henry B. and William C. Schroeder.  1953.  Rainbow smelt.  In Bigelow and Schroeder’s Fishes of the Gulf of Maine.  Fishery Bulletin of the Fish and Wildlife Service, Bull. 74(53):166-170.  United States Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.


Buckley, Jack. L.  1989.  Species profiles: life histories and environmental requirements of coastal fishes and invertebrates (North Atlantic)-rainbow smelt.  U.S. Fish Wildl. Serv. Biol. Rep. 82(11.106).  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, TR EL-82-4.  11 pp.


Brown, Russell W. and William W. Taylor.  1995.  Effects of a recreational dip-net fishery on rainbow smelt egg deposition.  North American Journal of Fisheries Management 15(1):165-169.


Crestin, David S.  1973.  Some aspects of the biology of adults and early life stages of the rainbow smelt, Osmerus mordax (Mitchill), from the Weweantic River Estuary, Wareham-Marion, Massachusetts, 1968.  M.S. Thesis.  University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA.  127 pp.


Haldorson, Lewis, and Peter Craig.  1984.  Life history and ecology of a Pacific-Arctic population of rainbow smelt in coastal waters of the Beaufort Sea.  Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 113(1):33-38.


Kendall, William Converse.  1926.  The smelts.  Bulletin of the Bureau of Fisheries 42:217-375.


McKenzie, R. A.  1964.  Smelt life history and fishery in the Miramichi River, New Brunswick.  Fisheries Research Board of Canada Bulletin No. 144.  77 pp.


Smelt Population Assessment and Distribution

Chase, Bradford C., Matthew H. Ayer, and Scott P. Elzey.  2009.  Rainbow smelt population monitoring and restoration on the Gulf of Maine coast of Massachusetts.  Proceedings of ANACAT II Challenges for Diadromous Fishes in a Dynamic Global Environment.  American Fisheries Society Symposium 69:899-901.


Daniels, Robert A., Karin E. Limburg, Robert E. Schmidt, David L. Strayer, and R. Christopher Chambers.  2005.  Changes in fish assemblages in the tidal Hudson River, New York.  American Fisheries Society Symposium 45:471–503.


Flagg, Lewis N.  1983.  Evaluation of anadromous fish resources.  Maine Dept. of Marine Resources. Project #: AFS 21-R.  48 pp.


Franzin, William G., Bruce A. Barton, Richard A. Remnant, Duncan B. Wain, and Shirley Jo Pagel.  1994.  Range extension, present and potential distribution, and possible effects of rainbow smelt in Hudson Bay drainage waters of northwestern Ontario, Manitoba, and Minnesota.  North American Journal of Fisheries Management 14(1):65-76.


Fried, Heather A. and Eric T. Schultz.  2006.  Anadromous rainbow smelt and tomcod in Connecticut: assesment of populations, conservation status, and need for restoration plan.  EEB Articles.  Paper 18.  301 pp.


Lawton, Robert, Phillips Brady, Christine Sheehan, Steven Correia, and Mando Borgatti.  1990.  Final report on spawning sea-run rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) in the Jones River and impact assessment of Pilgrim Station on the population, 1979-1981.  Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station Marine Environmental Monitoring Program, Report Series No. 4.  Dept. of Fish., Wild., and Env. Law Enforcement, Mass. Div. of Mar. Fish., Sandwich, MA.  84 pp.


Lecomte, F. and J. J. Dodson.  2005.  Distinguishing trophic and habitat partitioning among sympatric populations of the estuarine fish Osmerus mordax Mitchill.  Journal of Fish Biology 66(6):1601–1623.


Murawski, Steven A. and Charles F. Cole.  1978.  Population dynamics of anadromous rainbow smelt, Osmerus mordax, in a Massachusetts river system.  Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 107(4):535-542.


Mayden, Richard L., Frank B. Cross, and Owen T. Gorman.  1987.  Distributional history of the rainbow smelt, Osmerus mordax (Salmoniformes: Osmeridae), in the Mississippi River Basin.  Copeia, 1987(4):1051-1055.


Dion, Cheryl A. and Jeffrey F. Bromaghin.  2008.  Stock assessment of rainbow smelt in Togiak River, Togiak National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, 2007.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Alaska Fisheries Data Series Number 2008-16.  19 pp.


Smelt Spawning Habitat and Reproduction

Chase, Bradford C.  2006.  Rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) spawning habitat on the Gulf of Maine coast of Massachusetts.  Mass. Div. of Mar. Fish., Tech. Report No. TR-30.


Chase, Bradford C. and Abigail R. Childs.  2001.  Rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) spawning habitat in the Weymouth-Fore River.  Mass. Div. of Mar. Fish., Tech. Report No. TR-5.


Chase, Bradford C.  2009.  The spawning habitat of anadromous rainbow smelt: trouble at the tidal interface.  Proceedings of ANACAT II Challenges for Diadromous Fishes in a Dynamic Global Environment.  American Fisheries Society Symposium 69:859-862.


Chase, B.C., J.H. Plouff, and M. Gabriel. 2008. An evaluation of the use of egg transfers and habitat restoration to establish an anadromous rainbow smelt population. Mass. Div. of Mar. Fisheries, Tech. Rep. TR-33.


Clayton, Gary R.  1976.  Reproduction, first year growth and distribution of anadromous rainbow smelt, Osmerus mordax (Mitchill), in the Parker River-Plum Island Sound Estuary, Massachusetts.  M.S. Thesis.  University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. 120 pp.


Dodson, Julian J., Jean-Claude Dauvin, R. Grant Ingram, and B. D’Anglejan.  1989.  Abundance of larval rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) in relation to the maximum turbidity zone and associated macroplanktonic fauna of the middle St. Lawrence Estuary.  Estuaries 12(2):66-81.


Hoover, Earl E.  1936.  The spawning activities of fresh water smelt, with special reference to the sex ratio.  Copeia 1936(2):85-91


Lischka, Stacy A. and John J. Magnuson.  2006.  Timing and site selection of spawning in a landlocked population of rainbow smelt in Wisconsin.  Environ. Biol. Fish. 76(2-4):413–418.


Murawski, Steven A., Gary R. Clayton, Roger J. Reed, and Charles F. Cole.  1980.  Movements of spawning rainbow smelt, Osmerus mordax, in a Massachusetts estuary.  Estuaries 3(4):308-314.


Purchase, C. F., D. J. Hasselman, and L. K. Weir.  2007.  Relationship between fertilization success and the number of milt donors in rainbow smelt Osmerus mordax (Mitchell): implications for population growth rates.  Journal of Fish Biology 70(3):934–946.


Rupp, Robert S.  1959.  Variation in the life history of the American smelt in inland waters of Maine.  Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 88(4):241-252.


Rupp, Robert S.  1965.  Shore-spawning and survival of eggs of the American smelt.  Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 94(2):160-168.


Sutter III, Frederick C.  1980.  Reproductive biology of anadromous rainbow smelt, Osmerus mordax, in the Ipswich Bay area, Massachusetts.  M.S. Thesis.  University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA.  61 pp.  Print.


Warfel, Herbert E., Terrence P. Frost, and Warren H. Jones.  1943.  The smelt, Osmerus mordax, in Great Bay, New Hampshire.  Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 72(1):256-262.


Wyatt, Lauren H., Alan L. Baker and David L. Berlinsky.  2010.  Effects of sedimentation and periphyton communities on embryonic rainbow smelt, Osmerus mordaxAquat. Sci. 72(3):361-369.


Smelt Genetics and Divergence

Bernatchez, L.  1997.  Mitochondrial DNA analysis confirms the existence of two glacial races of rainbow smelt Osmerus mordax and their reproductive isolation in the St. Lawrence River estuary (Quebec, Canada).  Molecular Ecology 6(1):73-83.


Bradbury, Ian R., Mark W. Coulson, Steven E. Campana, Eric Baggs, and Paul Bentzen.  2009.  Postglacial recolonization and loss of anadromy in rainbow smelt from coastal Newfoundland.  Proceedings of ANACAT II Challenges for Diadromous Fishes in a Dynamic Global Environment. American Fisheries Society Symposium 69:79-96.


Bradbury, I. R., M. W. Coulson, S. E. Campana, and P. Bentzen.  2006.  Morphological and genetic differentiation in anadromous smelt Osmerus mordax (Mitchill): disentangling the effects of geography and morphology on gene flow.  Journal of Fish Biology 69(Supplement C):95-114.


Coulson, Mark, and Paul Bentzen.  2009.  Bay-scale population differentiation among anadromous rainbow smelt.  Proceedings of ANACAT II Challenges for Diadromous Fishes in a Dynamic Global Environment. American Fisheries Society Symposium 69:831-834.


Coulson, M. W., I. R. Bradbury and P. Bentzen.  2006.  Temporal genetic differentiation: continuous v. discontinuous spawning runs in anadromous rainbow smelt Osmerus mordax (Mitchill).  Journal of Fish Biology 69(Supplement C):209–216.


Gottschall, Kurt F., Mark W. Johnson, and David G. Simpson.  2000.  The distribution and size composition of finfish, American lobster, and long-finned squid in Long Island Sound based on the Connecticut fisheries division bottom trawl survey, 1984–1994.  NOAA Technical Report NMFS 148.  199 pp.


Kovach, A.I., T.S. Breton, C. Enterline, and D.L. Berlinsky. In Press. Identifying the spatial scale of population structure in anadromous rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax). Fisheries Research. DOI: 10.1016/j.fishres.2012.07.008


Rupp, Robert S. and Malcolm A. Redmond.  1966.  Transfer studies of ecologic and genetic variation in the American smelt.  Ecology, 47(2):253-259


Taylor, Eric B. and Paul Bentzen.  1993.  Evidence for multiple origins and sympatric divergence of trophic ecotypes of smelt (Osmerus) in northeastern North America.  Evolution, 47(3):813-832.


Smelt Physiology

Barker, Seth L., David W. Townsend, and John S. Hacunda.  1981.  Mortalities of Atlantic herring, Clupea h. harengus, and smooth flounder, Liopsetta putnami, and rainbow smelt, Osmerus mordax, larvae exposed to acute thermal shock.  Fishery Bulletin 79(1):198-200.


Fuda, K. M., B. M. Smith, M. P. Lesser, B. J. Legare, H. R. Breig, R. B. Stack, and D. L. Berlinsky.  2007.  The effects of environmental factors on rainbow smelt Osmerus mordax embryos and larvae.  Journal of Fish Biology 71(2):539–549.


Geffen, A. J. 1990.  Response of rainbow smelt, Osmerus mordax (Mitchill), eggs to low pH.  Journal of Fish Biology 37(6):865-871.


Johnston, C. E. and J. C. Cheverie.  1988.  Observations on the diel and seasonal drift of eggs and larvae of anadromous rainbow smelt, Osmerus mordax, and blueback herring, Alosa aestivalis, in a coastal stream on Prince Edward Island.  Canadian Field-Naturalist 102(3):508-514.


Smelt Trophic Interactions

Crowder, Larry B.  1980.  Alewife, rainbow smelt and native fishes in Lake Michigan: competition or predation?  Env. Biol. Fish. 5(3):225-233.


Foltz, Jeffrey W. and Carroll R. Norden.  1977.  Seasonal changes in food consumption and energy content of smelt (Osmerus mordax) in Lake Michigan.  Trans. Am. Fish. Soc. 106(3):230-234.


Havey, Keith, A.  1973.  Effects of a smelt introduction on growth of landlocked salmon at Schoodic Lake, Maine.  Trans. Amer. Fish. Soc. 102(2):392-397.


Jardine, Timothy D., Jean-Marc Roussel, Sean C. Mitchell, and Richard A. Cunjak.  2009.  Detecting marine nutrient and organic matter inputs into multiple trophic levels in streams of Atlantic Canada and France.  Proceedings of ANACAT II Challenges for Diadromous Fishes in a Dynamic Global Environment.  American Fisheries Society Symposium 69:427-445.


Kircheis, Frederick W. and Jon G. Stanley.  1981.  Theory and practice of forage-fish management in New England.  Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 110(6):729-737.


Kirn, Richard A. and George W. LaBar.  1996.  Growth and survival of rainbow smelt, and their role as prey for stocked salmonids in Lake Champlain.  Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 125(1):87-96.


LaBar, George W.  1993.  Use of bioenergetics models to predict the effect of increased lake trout predation on rainbow smelt following sea lamprey control.  Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 122(5):942-950.


Stetter, S. L. Parker, L. D. Witzel, L. G. Rudstam, D. W. Einhouse, and E. L. Mills.  2005.  Energetic consequences of diet shifts in Lake Erie rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax).  Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 62(1):145–152.


Swanson, H. K., T. A. Johnston, W. C. Leggett, R. A. Bodaly, R. R. Doucett, and R. A. Cunjak.  2003.  Trophic positions and mercury bioaccumulation in rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) and native forage fishes in northwestern Ontario lakes.  Ecosystems 6(3):289–299.


Smelt Mortality

Henderson, Bryan A. and Stephen J. Nepszy.  1989.  Factors affecting recruitment and mortality rates of rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) in Lake Erie, 1963-85.  J. Great Lakes Res. 15(2):357-366.


Jimenez, Doris, Joseph E. Pelczarski, and H. Russell Iwanowicz.  1982.  Incidence of Piscine Erythrocytic Necrosis (PEN) and Glugea hertwigi (Weissenberg) in rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax Mitchill) in selected Massachusetts streams.  Estuaries 5(2):145-149.


Nsembukya-Katuramu, Samuel, Eugene K. Balon, and Robin Mahon.  1981.  A comparison of spawning, harvested, and die-off rainbow smelt, Osmerus mordax, in eastern Lake Erie.  J. Great Lakes Res. 7(2):144-154.


Scarborough, Ann and Earl Weidner.  1979.  Field and laboratory studies of Glugea hertwigi (Microsporida) in the rainbow smelt Osmerus mordaxBiol. Bull. 157(2):334-343.


Schaefer, Wayne F., Richard A. Heckmann, and William A. Swenson.  1981.  Postspawning mortality of rainbow smelt in western Lake Superior.  J. Great Lakes Res. 7(1):37-41.


Smelt Culture

Author unknown.  Propagating smelts: visit to the Hackensack River-number of eggs in a smelt. New York Times [New York City] 10 March 1880.


Akielaszek, John J., John R. Moring, Samuel R. Chapman, and John H. Dearborn.  1985. Experimental culture of young rainbow smelt Osmerus mordaxTransactions of the American Fisheries Society 114(4):596-603.


Walker, Abigail B., Daniel Ward, Kristin Duclos, Michael Peters, and David L. Berlinsky.  2010.  Surface disinfection and removal of adhesiveness from rainbow smelt eggs.  North American Journal of Aquaculture 72(2):158–163.


Smelt Management

Mills, K. E., C. Enterline, and B. Chase.  2010.  Protecting a threatened coastal fish species through collaborative regional research and planning.  Proceedings of The Coastal Society’s 22nd Biannual Conference, Wilmington, NC.


Fisheries and Oceans Canada.  No date.  Integrated smelt fishery management plan, Eastern New Brunswick area gulf region: 2007-2011.


Squiers, Thomas S., Lewis Flagg, and Lawrence Austin.  1976.  Smelt management plan.  Maine Dept. of Marine Resources.  Section 1 Completion Report Project #AFSC-13/FWAC-2 Segments 22 and 24.  23 pp.


Locke, A., R. Bernier and F. Mowbray.  1999.  Commercial license activity and landings of rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) in statistical districts 63-67 (Chaleur Bay, New Brunswick) during fall 1996 and winter 1997.  Can. Tech. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci. no. 2264: v+19 pp.


Osmeridae Family

Smelt Ageing

Sepulveda, Aquiles.  1994.  Daily growth increments in the otoliths of European smelt Osmerus eperlanus larvae.  Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 108:33-42.


Life History

Clarke, A. D., A. Lewis, K. H. Telmer, and J. M. Shrimpton. 2007.  Life history and age at maturity of an anadromous smelt, the eulachon Thaleichthys pacificus (Richardson).  Journal of Fish Biology 71(5):1479–1493.


Koutrakis, E. T., N. I. Kamidis and I. D. Leonardos. 2004.  Age, growth and mortality of a semi-isolated lagoon population of sand smelt, Atherina boyeri (Risso, 1810) (Pisces: Atherinidae) in an estuarine system of northern Greece.  J. Appl. Ichthyol. 20:382–388.


Hobbs, James A., Levi S. Lewis, Naoaki Ikemiyagi, Ted Sommer, and Randall D. Baxter.  2010.  The use of otolith strontium isotopes (87Sr/86Sr) to identify nursery habitat for a threatened estuarine fish.  Environmental Biology of Fishes 89(3-4):557-569.

Spawning and Reproduction

Lyle, Alex A. and Peter S. Maitland.  1997.  The spawning migration and conservation of smelt Osmerus eperlanus in the river Cree, southwest Scotland.  Biological Conservation 80:303-311.


Population Assessment and Distribution

Bennett, William A.  2005.  Critical assessment of the delta smelt population in the San Francisco Estuary, California.  San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science 3(2):1-73.  eScholarship.  Web. 18 Nov 2011.


Maitland, Peter S.  2003. The status of smelt Osmerus eperlanus in England.  English Nature Research Reports Number 516.  83 pp.


Moody, Megan Felicity.  2008.  Eulachon past and present.  M.Sc. Thesis.  The University of British Columbia, Vancouver.  307 pp.


Genetics and Divergence

Dodson, Julian J., Jerome Laroche, and Frederic Lecomte.  2009.  Contrasting evolutionary pathways of anadromy in euteleostean fishes.  Proceedings of ANACAT II Challenges for Diadromous Fishes in a Dynamic Global Environment. American Fisheries Society Symposium 69:63-77.



Ivanova, M. N.  1982.  The influence of environmental conditions on the population dynamics of smelt, Osmerus eperlanus (Osmeridae).  J. Ichthyol. 22:45-51.