Profile updated on 27 June 2016

SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Osmerus mordax

SPECIES NAME(s)

Rainbow smelt, American smelt, Smelt

There is no research conducted on the population structure of Rainbow smelt in Lake Erie.


ANALYSIS

Strengths

The Great Lakes Fishery Commission’s Lake Erie Committee Forage Task Group is tasked with estimating abundance and biomass levels of all forage species in Lake Erie on a regular basis.

Weaknesses

The fishery is unregulated and there is a need to formally quantify Rainbow Smelt catches from gilllnet, traps, and other recreational and subsistence fisheries gears. The species is seen as a invasive species in Lake Erie.

Options

Data collection needs to be strengthened in subsistence and recreational sectors for more robust stock assessments in future.

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

NOT YET SCORED

Managers Compliance:

NOT YET SCORED

Fishers Compliance:

NOT YET SCORED

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

NOT YET SCORED

Future Health:

NOT YET SCORED


RECOMMENDATIONS

RETAILERS & SUPPLY CHAIN
  • Start a fishery improvement project (FIP) to address the lack of publicly available information on this fishery. For advice on starting a FIP, see SFP's Seafood Industry Guide to FIPs and other resources at https://www.sustainablefish.org/Programs/Professional-Guidance/FIP-Toolkit-Resources
  • Encourage scientists to share their studies/publications with FishSource by commenting on the profile and uploading a hyperlink to the document.
  • Work with the government and scientists on the collection of data and make them accessible online.

FIPS

  • Canada Lake Erie rainbow smelt - trawl:

    Stage 2

CERTIFICATIONS

No related MSC fisheries

Fisheries

Within FishSource, the term "fishery" is used to indicate each unique combination of a flag country with a fishing gear, operating within a particular management unit, upon a resource. That resource may have a known biological stock structure and/or may be assessed at another level for practical or jurisdictional reasons. A fishery is the finest scale of resolution captured in FishSource profiles, as it is generally the scale at which sustainability can most fairly and practically be evaluated.

ASSESSMENT UNIT MANAGEMENT UNIT FLAG COUNTRY FISHING GEAR
Lake Erie Canada, FMZ 19 Canada Gillnets and entangling nets
Midwater trawls
Traps
US, Lake Erie United States Gillnets and entangling nets
Midwater trawls
Traps

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Last updated on 21 February 2011

Strengths

The Great Lakes Fishery Commission’s Lake Erie Committee Forage Task Group is tasked with estimating abundance and biomass levels of all forage species in Lake Erie on a regular basis.

Weaknesses

The fishery is unregulated and there is a need to formally quantify Rainbow Smelt catches from gilllnet, traps, and other recreational and subsistence fisheries gears. The species is seen as a invasive species in Lake Erie.

Options

Data collection needs to be strengthened in subsistence and recreational sectors for more robust stock assessments in future.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Last updated on 31 December 2018

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Start a fishery improvement project (FIP) to address the lack of publicly available information on this fishery. For advice on starting a FIP, see SFP's Seafood Industry Guide to FIPs and other resources at https://www.sustainablefish.org/Programs/Professional-Guidance/FIP-Toolkit-Resources
  • Encourage scientists to share their studies/publications with FishSource by commenting on the profile and uploading a hyperlink to the document.
  • Work with the government and scientists on the collection of data and make them accessible online.

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT

Last updated on 21 February 2011

Great Lakes Fishery Commission’s Lake Erie Committee Forage Task Group is responsible for evaluating abundance and biomass levels of forage species such as rainbow smelt in Lake Erie. The Rainbow smelt fishery is unregulated in Lake Erie waters and there is no formal stock assessment conducted to manage the stock through regulations or formal management procedures.

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

Last updated on 21 February 2011

Great Lakes Fishery Commission has been actively promoting some measures to prevent introduction of Rainbow smelt into inland lakes by asking fishermen 1) to not use rainbow smelt as bait (against law to use rainbow smelt as bait); illegal to possess or use them as bait; illegal import, distribution or sale of rainbow smelt is against the law. These measures have largely been undertaken as introduction of rainbow smelt into Lake Erie has led to reduction of native species such as yellow perch, walleye, lake herring and other clupeids as rainbow smelt eat young ones of these species. See Rooney and Peterson (2009) for more information.

Reference Points

Last updated on 21 Feb 2011

Due to absence of a formal stock assessment, reference points have not been evaluated for the Rainbow Smelt fishery in Lake Erie.

CURRENT STATUS

Last updated on 21 February 2011

Rainbow smelt is one the top forage fish in Lake Erie along with emerald shiner and are the principal prey species of piscivores. There is no formal stock assessment for this stock, but recent fall index bottom trawl surveys in Ontario (OMNR) reveal that stock is healthy and overfishing is not occurring for this stock (GLFC 2012).

Trends

Last updated on 21 Feb 2011

Landings data is not available and hence trends cannot be computed.

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGEMENT

Last updated on 21 February 2011

Rainbow smelt is an introduced species in Great Lakes and seen as a invasive species. The fishery is essentially unregulated and hence no management decisions could be found for this species.

Recovery Plans

Last updated on 21 Feb 2011

None are foreseen under the current management policy due to the relatively low commercial value of the species.

COMPLIANCE

Last updated on 21 February 2011

Fishery is unregulated hence no conclusions can be drawn in this regard.

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

BYCATCH
ETP Species

Last updated on 21 February 2011

Interactions of commercial and recreational gear with PET species is not quantified in the Rainbow smelt fisheries.

Other Species

Last updated on 21 February 2011

Targeting of Rainbow smelt can result in significant by-catch of other species due to relatively small size of this species. Harvesting of Rainbow smelt is seen as a positive incentive to remove this fast growing, short lived invasive species resilient to even high levels of fishing pressure.

By-catch of other species in caught in this fishery remain unquantified.

HABITAT

Last updated on 21 February 2011

Pelagic gillnets do not come in contact with seafloor and considered to have minimal impact on habitat (Fuller et al., 2008).

Marine Reserves

Last updated on 21 Feb 2011

None are reported in the area of jurisdiction of this fishery.

FishSource Scores

SELECT SCORES

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

STOCK HEALTH:

No data available
No data available
No data available
No data available
No data available
No data available
No data available
No data available
No data available
No data available
No data available
No data available

No related analysis

Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

SELECT FIP

Access FIP Public Report

Evaluation Start Date: 22 Apr 2019
Type: Comprehensive

Comments:

FIP transitiioned from prospective to active status on FIsheryProgress. FIP now at stage 2. 

1.
FIP Development
Apr 19
2.
FIP Launch
Apr 19
Apr 19
3.
FIP Implementation
FIP activities undertaken
4.
Improvements in Fishing Practices and Fishery Management
Verifiable improvement in policy/management and fishing practices
5.
Improvements on the Water
Verifiable improvement on the water
6.
MSC certification (optional)
MSC certificate made public

Certifications

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

No related MSC certifications

Sources

Credits
  1. GLFC. 1997. Lake Erie Committee Position Statement on Productivity and Rainbow Smelt, Great Lakes Fishery Commission, 1 page.http://www.glfc.org/lakecom/lec/LEC_docs/position_statements/productivity_and_rainbow_smelt.pdf
  2. GLFC. 2012. Report of the Lake Erie Forage Task Group, March 2012, Presented to Standing Technical Committee Lake Erie Committee Great Lakes Fishery Commission, 59 pages.http://www.glfc.org/lakecom/lec/FTG_docs/annual_reports/FTG_report_2012.pdf

    Appended content

    Fuller, S.D., Picco, C., Ford, J., Tsao, C., Morgan, L.E., Hangaard, D., Chuenpagdee, R. 2008. How we fish matters: Addressing the ecological impacts of Canadian Fishing Gear. Ecological Action Centre, Living Oceans Society and Marine Conservation Biology Institute.

    Rooney, R.C., Paterson, M.J. 2009. Ecosystem effects of rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) invasions in inland lakes:
    a literature review. Can. Tech. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 2845: iv + 33 p.

      References

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        Rainbow smelt - Lake Erie

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