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Alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus)



The Alewife or Alosa pseudoharengus is just one of the over 200 different species of Herring. This fish is anadromous, which means that they can survive in both freshwater and saltwater. Alewife go by a few different names including Grayback, Sawbelly, Kiack, Gaspereau, LY and Gray Herring. They can be differentiated from other Herring by their lower jaw which is longer than their upper jaw.

Alewife are silver or gray with a green or blue tinge. They will normally have at least one small shoulder spot which is darker than the rest of their bodies. These fish are often used as bait fish, because they only grow to about 15" maximum and can weigh about 1/2lbs. This fish is also edible, and is considered to be quite tasty when smoked. These fish are schooling fish that can be caught with nets fairly easily with a little practice.  You can learn more about the Alewife in the video below... 

Alewife will spawn from April to June and will often make their way into freshwater rivers to lay their eggs. The landlocked Alewife will simply retreat to deeper waters to spawn. Their eggs are left unattended and hatch in about a week. The fry will feed on diatoms, copepods, plants and ostracods. As they grow older, they will begin to eat small fish and shrimp.

If you have any additional information about the Alewife please leave us a comment.



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