WHAT IS A JACKSMELT?
Also known as jack silverside or a horse, blue or California smelt, they’re native to the Pacific Coast. Ranging from Oregon down to California, they have a grey coloration with a tint of blue and green and grow to over a foot in length. While a popular fish among anglers, the large number of bones and frequency of worms limit its popularity. A relative of the barracuda, the jacksmelt is omnivorous and an important part of the food chain for birds and other predators.
WHERE DO JACKSMELT COME FROM?
Like with most fish, their predecessors came into existence about 1/2 a billion years ago. Their cousins the Atlantic Silversides tend to be much shorter in length. However unlike the Atlantic version, the gender of Jacksmelt eggs doesn’t change depending on the temperature.
WHEN ARE JACKSMELT IN SEASON?
They tend to spawn during the winter months of October through March on the West coast of the U.S.A. It takes about 2 years for this fish to reach it’s adult size.
DO JACKSMELTS LAY THEIR EGGS ON LAND?
While the Jacksmelt doesn’t, a close relative of theirs the Grunion does! The male and female will go onto dry land during a low tide. Together they deposit fertilized eggs, and crawl back into the ocean just before a full moon. Then two weeks later the incubated eggs hatch just before the high tide, which sweeps the newborns back into the sea.
ARE JACKSMELT ONE OF THE DIRTY DOZEN? (MERCURY)
No but they are considered to have moderate levels of mercury present. No more then 6 servings of Jacksmelt a month are recommended.