from The Daily Star on 5/4/16 – Rainbow smelt, a slender, cylindrical fish that grow to be a bit longer than a typical finger, could be found in abundance in Otsego Lake after they were introduced in 1979.
As a source of forage for bigger fish, the smelt were helping to support a thriving fishery in Otsego County’s biggest lake. But when the alewife — an invasive species with a voracious appetite — were introduced in 1986, the rainbow smelt population in Otsego Lake began to plummet.
The smelt and the alewife both had an appetite for zooplankton. It was a competition won by the alewives, with the smelt becoming increasingly scarce.
But this year, the smelt — without any stocking of the waters — have rebounded with such strength that the resurgence came as a surprise to Dr. John Foster, a professor and chairman of the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Environmental Science at the State University College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill.…