AUGUSTA (AP) — State biologists and smelt camp operators say this has been one of the worst seasons they can remember, but no one is quite sure why.

Claire Enterline, a marine scientist for the state Department of Marine Resources, says surveys of the recreational fishing camps show the lowest total of fish caught per line, per hour since the department has been collecting the data.

Mike Baker of Baker’s Smelt Camps on the Kennebec River in Pittston, tells the Kennebec Journal this has been the worst season he can remember in almost four decades.

Some camp operators blame dredging in the Bath area that disturbed fish swimming up the river.

Enterline says smelt populations have been declining in New England for decades, but what’s going on in Maine is a mystery.

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