Science: The Great Smelt Mystery

"The greatest catastrophe in fishing history!"

The incredible Great Lakes smelt situation was so described last week by Dr. John Van Oosten of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The vast smelt population of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron (where some 95% of U.S. fresh water smelts lived) had suddenly vanished. Two years ago fishermen took 5,000,000 Ib. of smelts there; last year, 1,000,000. Total catch this winter: 2 Ib. No one knew why the smelts had died.

Originally from Maine fresh-water lakes, the smelts were transplanted to Michigan's Crystal Lake in 1912 as food for salmon. The salmon unaccountably disappeared, but...

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