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Alewife

Artwork: Joann Wheeler 1999

Fast Fact:

Very similar to Blue Back Herring.  Once a thriving commercial species now threatened by dams, destroyed spawning habitats, and overfishing.

Distribution Coastal: Newfoundland to South Carolina.
Chesapeake Bay: Throughout the bay and its tributaries.
Description Closely resembles the Blueback Herring; eye diameter greater than snout length; dorsum deep bluish green, peritoneum black to dusky, one dusky spot on shoulder; body and abdomen compressed.
Max. size 15 inches.
Food preference Plankton, insects, small fish, fish eggs.
Spawning location Anadromous - lives in saltwater, spawns in freshwater.
Spawning period Spring, peaking in late March and early April.
Egg type Broadcast at random, demersal, non-adhesive.
Additional Information Go to DNR's Fish Facts page OR  Juvenile Fish Index

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