Lake George Seeks Smelt Survey Volunteers

The Fund for Lake George reports that the annual rainbow smelt migration has begun! And they are seeking volunteers for their annual smelt survey.

The FUND for Lake George and Lake George Waterkeeper are asking for assistance in monitoring the annual Rainbow Smelt spawning migration in the streams of Lake George. Participating volunteers are asked to visit their designated stream during the two-week spawning migration as often as possible and document observations.

Source: wikipedia

Rainbow Smelt (Osmerus mordax) are a slender fish, with an average length of 7-8 inches. Smelt a non-native fish species to Lake George, were first introduced as a forage species for larger game species such as lake trout and landlocked salmon. Smelt will spawn in streams tributary to Lake George just following ice-out, when water temperatures reach approximately 42 degrees. The Lake George Waterkeeper conducted surveys on the annual spawning migration since 2009, focusing on 16 streams on the West side of Lake George. This annual survey is in its fifth year and is vital for understanding smelt population trends.

Monitoring and studying the factors that influence and alter smelt spawning migration, as well as the influence that smelt have on the aquatic ecosystem, will lead to a better picture of the Lake George fishery as a whole.

If you are interested in participating, please contact Corrina Parnapy , Water Quality Outreach Coordinator, The FUND for Lake George at: (518) 668-9700 x303 or

Please provide the name/ location of the stream you would like to monitor, and your contact information that the appropriate material can be sent to you and you can be notified when the smelt run begins. We look forward to hearing from you.

Please remember that the collection or possession of rainbow smelt in the Lake George watershed is prohibited by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
Source: Fund for Lake George

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