Fisheries students see rainbow smelt resurgence in Otsego Lake

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.…

So why have the smelt rebounded? Read the full story at >>