Baltic Lake Smelt

Baltic Lake Smelt

 

(Osmerus eperlanus eperlanus morpha spirinchus), a fish of the family Osmeridae, a small lake form of the European smelt. The Baltic smelt is 6–10 cm long and weighs about 10 g. It is present in the lakes and reservoirs of Sweden, the German Democratic Republic, the Federal Republic of Germany, and Poland. In the USSR the fish inhabits lakes of the Baltic basin, including lagoons and other shallow bodies of water isolated from the sea (for example, Courland Lagoon); it is also present in lakes and reservoirs of the upper Volga basin and the floodplains of the Pechora River. In recent decades the Baltic lake smelt has settled in the Gorky and Kuibyshev reservoirs of the middle Volga.

The fish feeds on zooplankton. It reaches sexual maturity at the end of the first or the beginning of the second year of life. Spawning occurs in April and May on rocky soils. The roe are sticky.

The Baltic lake smelt is commercially valuable, especially in the northwestern USSR.

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