London Gateway Smelt Monitoring Continues for Second Year Running

14th May 2017

London Gateway Smelt Monitoring Continues for Second Year Running

The MESL survey team have been visiting the Thames Estuary on behalf of London Gateway Port on a weekly basis over the winter-spring period to monitor the migration of smelt (Osmerus eperlanus). Smelt is a small shoaling fish which is distantly related to salmon and migrates from estuarine environments to freshwater rivers to spawn. Smelt migration and spawning behaviour is linked to tidal flows which the fish utilise to move upstream. Spawning events are difficult to detect, however it is important to monitor spawning activity due to the sensitivity of the species to changes in water quality. Our field team had a fascinating time observing the movement of the fish and their migration patterns and are pleased to be contributing to improving the understanding of the life behaviour of this species within the Thames Estuary.

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