Maine Anglers Enjoy Productive Smelt Season

Maine ice fishermen who pursue tasty rainbow smelts are enjoying a robust season after years of poor fishing.

Indeed, it seems that the population maybe rebounding after years of decline. In 2004, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration listed rainbow smelt as a federal “species of concern”, although it’s not clear what caused the decline (climate change, habitat loss, overfishing, predation, and cyclic fluctuations could all be factors).

Restrictions placed on fishermen in recent years may be having a positive impact, as catches from Maine’s major coastal rivers have been above average this winter, both in terms of the size of the fish and the numbers caught per tide, according to the Bangor Daily News.