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Smelt runs


lvgreatlakes

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My name's Kirk been on the site for 10 months maybe but haven't really said much. I slip out of Seneca marine and was born and raised on Northern Lake Michigan so the great Lakes are so much apart of me. I'm looking for some smelt runs coming out of Lake Ontario and an update of any law changes in the last 10 years. I know on Seneca lake you can't hardly find a Smelt run anymore, that's sad. I miss that night time event once or twice a year, what a good time it is.

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The alewives have largely displaced the smelt in many environments. The alewive forage base has produced a faster growing/ larger game fish population but the smelting action has been diminished and is a much smaller and shorter event. Constant change is here to stay...

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The Niagara River has had good runs the last 2 years.The run is at the end of April beginning of May.You are allowed 8 quarts a day per person.I have done good at Artpark in Lewiston.Watch Bill Hilts Reports in April to find out when run begins.

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To add to Sean Youngblood's comments,

I found more smelt in fish stomachs last fishing season than what I have seen in a very long time. I've been fishing since I was 4, 1978. Also there was die off of yearling smelt, and some adults, on the Niagara Bar, early last june, possible thermal shock from up welling, maybe an indication of a good year class.

I have mostly fished in the past in the Sodus/Pultneyville area of the lake, and notice the same trends there last season. Most of the smelt I caught were eaten by steelhead, and most of those smelt, roughly 80%, were yearlings. I'd have to look at my log book, but we ended up with one pretty nice steelie last year, ~10lbs., that fish had almost 20 smelt in his stomach, I think 3 of those were adult, the rest were yearlings.

Just some food for thought. I think there is a couple pretty good year classes of smelt in the lake, despite what the DEC says.

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You guys are on the ball. Fish in the lower Niagara the past month have been gorged with young smelt. We also saw lots of smelt in the Salmon and trout in the western basin last spring. You should do ok dipping in the Niagara this spring. Unfortunately guys, you are not likely to hear about any resurgence in baitfish numbers as this leads to an intelligent discussion about upping Salmon numbers.

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