When does Smelt fishing start in Ontario?

During the spring, rainbow smelt spawn in streams and along shorelines. Spawning takes place at night and lasts for several days.

The timing of smelt runs depends on a variety of factors, including water temperature and light conditions. Generally, smelt spawning runs occur between late March and early April.

Water Temperature

Water temperature is a crucial factor for most fish species. When a lake’s water temperature is too cold, many fish will stop moving and spawning. This is a common phenomenon for smelt and other fish.

In most Great Lakes, rainbow smelt spawn in April in cool, dark waters in tributaries of the larger lakes. These spawning runs are extremely important to anglers and can be very lucrative.

A lot of smelt fishing in Ontario is done using dip nets. The most popular of these is the hand-held model, which consists of a pole with a hoop at the end and a cloth or metal net attached. These smelt nets can be purchased at most tackle stores.

Smelt are predatory fish, and they can eat other fish as well as aquatic invertebrates. They are also a food source for salmon and other predators.

But smelt fishing has been in decline over the past few decades. Today, only a few diehard smelters make the effort to pursue them.

Several factors may explain the dramatic drop in smelt populations over the years, including the introduction of invasive species such as zebra mussels. Other factors include overfishing and population dynamics.

The onset of the smelt run is based on water temperature, which peaks in the early part of March and begins to rise in April. This year, because the water temperatures were later than normal, the smelt spawning season has been delayed.

This is a serious problem for both the local anglers and the sport fishermen that depend on smelt to fuel their fishing dreams. It also affects the fish populations of a variety of other species, and can disrupt the balance of the ecosystem.

Several studies have shown that destratification, or the removal of algae blooms, can help smelt populations. A recent study in Michigan found that a reduction in the amount of destratification helped smelt populations recover. The results were similar to those of other studies in other lakes, indicating that destratification could be an effective strategy for controlling smelt in temperate lakes.

Light Conditions

Smelt fishing in Ontario is a time-honored tradition that stretches back generations. They are a popular fish that can be caught using a dip net in rivers, streams and lakes throughout the province. The spawning run of rainbow smelt, a non-native species in the Great Lakes, begins shortly after ice out when water temperatures rise to approximately 5 degrees Celsius and photoperiod (the length of daylight) increases.

For many smelt enthusiasts, this is the best part of the season. The smelt spawning run is a chance to catch a huge variety of these small, delicious fish. Smelts are also a staple food for the bigger fish in these lakes and streams, including trout and salmon.

The smelt run is not just about getting a few fish for dinner, but also an opportunity to share the experience with friends and family. While the smelt spawning run is not as common as it once was, there are still plenty of people who make a special effort to catch them and enjoy them as part of their fishing adventure.

When you go smelt fishing, it is important to understand the fish and how they behave. Most smelt are not picky and can be caught using a wide range of baits, but they will bite most anything that is dead or dying in the water. Brined herring, suckers and smelt are some of the most effective baits, but jigs are sometimes successful as well.

You can fish for smelt in most of the Great Lakes, as well as tributaries like the Niagara and Genesee rivers. In New York, smelt fishing is particularly popular in the Finger Lakes region and on Cayuga, Owasco and Seneca lakes.

The rainbow smelt spawning run typically lasts about three weeks and is based on temperature, water clarity and photoperiod. The run is often triggered by consistent warming rain showers and usually starts after water temperatures reach 5 to 7 degrees Celsius.

On Manitoulin Island, the smelt spawning run typically starts mid to late April. However, it may occur later this year due to low-water levels in the Lake.


The predator-prey relationship is one of the oldest in ecology. Generally predators develop their physical characteristics to hunt their prey. This includes speed, stealth, camouflage, immunity to prey’s poison, a good sense of smell or sight, and a digestive system that is adapted for its diet.

Predators often use their odor to track and find their prey, which can be long distances away. Some predators are very skilled at this skill, including sharks that can smell their prey in the water more than 2 miles away. Others, such as snakes, rely on their tongues to flick particles into the air to find their prey.

Some predators are adapted to eat particular types of prey, such as birds, mammals, or fish. They also have a particular preference for certain habitats.

For example, a salmon might prefer freshwater, saltwater or an ocean environment, depending on its needs. It can move between habitats by swimming or diving, tying on or removing its bait, and by moving through the water to reach its food source.

In Ontario, smelt fishing starts in April and continues throughout the summer when water temperatures rise to the optimum level for these fish. The temperature range for smelt is 6-13 degrees C (43-56 degrees F).

Smelt spawn in the spring, when they leave lakes and move into freshwater streams and rivers. Spawning runs typically begin after ice-out, with peak numbers occurring in early to mid-April. The run lasts about three weeks, and is often associated with warming rain showers.

The spawning period is influenced by temperature, photoperiod and available habitats. Low-water conditions can affect smelt spawning by restricting access to preferred habitats.

As a result, smelt fishing can be very unpredictable and sporadic. This year, there are reports of smelt being caught in some areas, but the overall run is still far from a regular season. Despite this, smelt fishing should start soon, and anglers should plan to fish at least a few nights during the upcoming smelt run.

Creel Limits

If you’re planning to head out for a fishing trip on Lake Ontario or any of the smaller, nearby lakes in the province, it’s important to get familiar with the creel limits. These are the maximum numbers of fish you can catch on any given day, regardless of whether you’re catching them yourself or on a charter.

One of the most popular species to catch in Ontario is Trout, which is available in four different varieties – Rainbow, Lake, Brook and Brown. They can be found in rivers and lakes throughout the province.

Typically, the season for Trout starts in early to mid-April and ends in late May. There are also a number of other species that can be caught in this part of the country, including Crappie and Sunfish.

As with any fishing trip in Canada, you’ll need to have an Ontario fishing license before you go. Charter guides will usually give you details on those, but it’s always best to check them out before you head out.

Once you’re all set up, you can then begin to plan your trip and figure out where to go and when. Keep in mind that Ontario is divided into different zones, which can affect your ability to fish certain waters.

Spawning runs for smelt happen in Ontario’s rivers and streams depending on water temperature. These runs often begin after consistent warming rain showers. The spawning runs last about three weeks, or as long as water temperatures remain in the 5deg to 7degC range.

Smelt can be a very tasty bait fish, but the number of these fish is declining due to overfishing and other factors. This is why it’s essential to check water temperatures and weather conditions before you head out for a fishing trip.

Another thing to consider is PFAS pollution, which can have detrimental effects on the health of the fish population. A recent study conducted by the DNR found that smelt collected in the spring and summer had high levels of the pollutants that have been linked to a number of health problems, including hypertension and thyroid issues.