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Smelting season: Port Milwaukee temporarily expands public access hours under Hoan Bridge

Smelts are a family of small fish
smelt fish
Posted at 9:33 PM, Mar 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-22 22:33:27-04

MILWAUKEE — Port Milwaukee is temporarily expanding public access hours under the Hoan Bridge for residents wishing to participate in the state's traditional smelting season.

According to Port Milwaukee, Wisconsin residents flock to the shores of Lake Michigan from late-March to early-April to fish for smelt and take advantage of the tradition on Milwaukee's waterfront.

"Smelts are a family of small fish found in the North Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans, as well as in North American rivers, streams and lakes, including the Great Lakes," Port Milwaukee said in a statement.

Effective now through April 22, the expanded hours will be from 8 p.m. to midnight nightly. This area will be closed from midnight to 3 a.m. nightly during this time period.

“Smelting is a longstanding outdoor tradition in Bay View and throughout the State of Wisconsin,” said Milwaukee Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic. “I appreciate the flexibility demonstrated by Port staff and the Board of Harbor Commissioners in accommodating the 2022 smelt run while keeping residents and families safe during this fun fishing season.”

Post Milwaukee says a security guard will be on site to ensure safety and security measures are followed. There are existing public access guidance for Jones Island here.

“Port Milwaukee consistently works to maintain a high degree of safety, vigilance and compliance with security requirements for its commercial operations, while also providing residents with as much public access to the waterfront as possible under local, state, and federal law,” said Adam Tindall-Schlicht, Director of Port Milwaukee. “We hope that members of the public can safely enjoy this year’s smelt run.”

For more information, click here.

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