SMELT (Osmerus eperlanus; Fr. eperlan; Scotch sparling or spirling), the common small European fish of the genus Osmerus, family Salmonidae. It breeds, unless land-locked, in salt or brackish water, and though it often enters rivers it does not ascend beyond tidal influence. Like other British Salmonids it spawns in winter. The true smelt inhabits the coasts of northern and central Europe, and allied species are known from the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of North America (Osmerus mordax, O. thaleichthys, 0. Japonicus).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)