Sea-run Rainbow smelt, Osmerus mordax, are an important food for striped bass, Atlantic salmon, Atlantic cod, grey seals, and many birds, as well as being a favorite fried fish for humans. It is vitally important that we continue to collect information on these fish so that conservation and restoration efforts can aid their recovery.
The Downeast Salmon Federation and partners The Nature Conservancy, and the Maine Department of Marine Resources have developed a citizen science project in collaboration with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute to document the presence/absence of rainbow smelt in coastal streams. We are looking for hearty souls to brave the chilly spring weather and help us conduct surveys, either at night to look for spawning smelt or during the day to look for their tiny eggs which stick to the rocks in the stream bed. This is part of a larger citizen science project gathering info on smelt, river herring and sea-run brook trout.
Below are some helpful links to get you started! Please contact DSF Fishery Biologist, Sarah Madronal with any questions you may have. EMAIL SARAH
Training & Presentation Recording: REQUIRED for participation in the survey
2021 Spawning Smelt Survey Participation form: filling out the Google form officially indicates intent to participate in the survey
Survey Protocol with Safety Guidelines: printable guide to take in the field
Data Form with Protocols: printable data sheet with the survey protocol to take in the field
Data Form without protocols: printable data sheet to take in the field
User Registration for Eco I Net: link to register for an account so that you can enter and transmit data to us
Smelt Spawning Survey Project on Eco I Net: this link contains all the information needed for the survey.