Rainbow Smelt


Other Common Names:

Smelt, American smelt, freshwater smelt, frost fish, ice fish


Scientific Name:

Osmerus mordax



Average length is 7 inches



Slender, cylindrical body, elongated and pointed snout; mouth is large with protruding lower jaw; teeth on both mandibles; silvery with sides lighter and white belly


Photo courtesy of

Konrad Schmidt - James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History


Text courtesy of:

Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Iowa Fish and Fishing by James R. Harlan and Everett B. Speaker with James Mayhew; color illustrations by Maynard F. Reece

Fishes of Wisconsin by George C. Becker


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