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Smelting -- drifting away from region shores


Just as the Pacific Northwest has its salmon and the Chesapeake Bay has its crab, this region has its smelt.

Biologist-types call the slender, double-finned fish "smelt osmerus mordax."

The locals call it dinner. Or an excuse to crack open a few cold ones under the stars.

Generations of families, friends and shoreline strangers have taken part in smelting, a cultural rite of spring in this region. The little lake-lovers like to spawn late at night on gravel beds from early April to late May. During this nocturnal mating season, their squishy bodies are ripe for reproduction -- even easier to pluck from a net.   more...


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