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The greatest yield of smelt (2214 t) over the past decade on the Estonian side of L.
Two year classes predominated in the spawning shoals of smelt: age 1 and age 2; older individuals were either absent or constituted only up to 0.1% of the total.
The average TL of age-1 smelt was less than 70 mm in five years, between 70 and 80 mm in four years, and in 2006, when the abundance was low, as high as 85.6 mm.
"The smelt have recovered well," King said Wednesday.
King and other fishery biologists say the smelt population crash was likely triggered by "poor ocean conditions" resulting from a strong El Nino event in the early 1990s.
But prime ocean conditions the past couple of years obviously helped fuel a rapid rebound in smelt populations.
Smelt samples were collected in summer and autumn 2003 with a bottom trawl (height 3 m, width 18 m, 10 mm knot-to-knot mesh size at cod-end) once a month from July to November.
The average lengths of smelt on different sampling dates were 333 mm.
Age 0+ smelt mainly consumed zooplankton (99%); chironomids, ostracods, and diatoms were taken in negligible amounts (Fig.
The composition of the smelt bed close to the floor tubes differs considerably from the average composition of the smelt bed because sulfur, chlorine, and potassium become enriched in the layer closest to the floor tubes.
During that time, glowing lanterns dotted the night shoreline of the eastern basin as smelters gathered to fish during the huge annual smelt spawning runs.
Male smelt were the first to appear in near-shore spawning areas, with females close behind.