SalmonAndStriper Stalker

cape cod smelt

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so these pictures were taken around Columbus day this year in a part of a small cape cod herring run. looks like smelt to me. there was a few dozen of them making their way upstream. this section I know was 100% freshwater as there was micro largemouth and bluegill as well around them. I heard that smelt are hard to come by and October seems early to me from what I have gathered. Didn’t know if I stumbled on something special.

20211009_105945.jpg

20211009_105954.jpg

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You may have stumbled upon something special . There is one stream where smelt fishing by net still exists , but they are a long way from reproducing as that is generally closer to March when that occurs  You have one fish that shows up on the first picture bottom right that you can see the eye structure . I wish that more of  a side view was available as well. Peace and Prayers

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1 hour ago, gregwa said:

I cant tell if they are smelt from the picture but what else could they be....so

They look like baby herring dropping out of a larger body of water.

S+S Stalker: Down-stream from a lake?

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13 mins ago, jason colby said:

They look like baby herring dropping out of a larger body of water.

S+S Stalker: Down-stream from a lake?

yes. I've seen herring fry many times and these were much more narrower. same exact shape as a smelt. wish I had better photos but the sun's glare really didn't help.

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How big were they?  Any chance they were just silversides?  We have 2 species around here menidia beryllina can tolerate fresh water.  menidia menidia is the species that most of us call silversides.

 

smelt get to be up to 7-8 inches or so, maybe a bit bigger.

 

the menidia species max out around 4”.

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9 mins ago, Fitzy said:

How big were they?  Any chance they were just silversides?  We have 2 species around here menidia beryllina can tolerate fresh water.  menidia menidia is the species that most of us call silversides.

 

smelt get to be up to 7-8 inches or so, maybe a bit bigger.

 

the menidia species max out around 4”.

these were 3 to 4in. I was unaware if silversides could tolerate entirely fresh water. buy they also didn't look like silversides as they were more narrower. also silversides have that translucent body with the silver stripe which these guys didn't have. I'm going to go back with a little net and try go get a picture of a specimen 

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5 mins ago, SalmonAndStriper Stalker said:

these were 3 to 4in. I was unaware if silversides could tolerate entirely fresh water. buy they also didn't look like silversides as they were more narrower. also silversides have that translucent body with the silver stripe which these guys didn't have. I'm going to go back with a little net and try go get a picture of a specimen 

Cool stuff.  It does sound like you may have found some smelt.  It was tough for me to tell what these guys look like from the pictures.

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1 hour ago, Fitzy said:

How big were they?  Any chance they were just silversides?  We have 2 species around here menidia beryllina can tolerate fresh water.  menidia menidia is the species that most of us call silversides.

 

smelt get to be up to 7-8 inches or so, maybe a bit bigger.

 

the menidia species max out around 4”.

Can't make out much from the pics but I like inland silverside (M. beryllina).

 

According to Inland Fishes of Massachusetts, the inland silverside commonly enters freshwater and;

 

"...is most commonly found in the coastal streams, bays and estuaries on the south side of Cape Cod. "

 

Also according to the same book, smelt enter the spawning streams at temps between 39 - 43 F.

 

Edit to add map of confirmed Massachusetts locations for inland silversides 

20211203_094119.jpg

Edited by mikez2

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Looking at the photos it's a tough call?  Yea, they sort of look like smelt.  But here's a photo I took of some dead herring fry from the Bournedale run. Do they look all that different?

 

FB_IMG_1638546651882.jpg

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8 mins ago, bob_G said:

Looking at the photos it's a tough call?  Yea, they sort of look like smelt.  But here's a photo I took of some dead herring fry from the Bournedale run. Do they look all that different?

 

FB_IMG_1638546651882.jpg

These herring fry are much smaller than the ones in the pic.

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16 hours ago, SalmonAndStriper Stalker said:

so these pictures were taken around Columbus day this year in a part of a small cape cod herring run. looks like smelt to me. there was a few dozen of them making their way upstream. this section I know was 100% freshwater as there was micro largemouth and bluegill as well around them. I heard that smelt are hard to come by and October seems early to me from what I have gathered. Didn’t know if I stumbled on something special.

20211009_105945.jpg

20211009_105954.jpg

White perch. Could not resist. Actually they do look like smelt 

 

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