Home → Fish & Wildlife → Fisheries → Species Information → Rainbow Smelt
Common Name: Rainbow Smelt
Other Names: Smelt, Freshwater Smelt, American Smelt
Scientific Name: Osmerus mordax
Adult Size: Maine smelt can reach a wide variety of sizes. In many lakes smelt grow to a maximum size of 3-5 inches, depending on food, competition, and growing conditions. Smelt in northern Maine lakes commonly average 6-8 inches in length, and some Maine lakes grow smelt as large as 14 inches.
Identification: Their body is long and slender with a large elongated, pointed mouth. They have strong conical teeth on jaws and tongue, with fewer than 75 scales along lateral line. Color is silver with a green back, and iridescent purple, pink, and blue reflections on the side. An adipose fin is present.