What is Alewives?

What is Alewives?

What is Alewives?

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fishPhiladelphia, PA - Alewives are part of the herring family and can be found in many different parts of the world. They are typically found along the Northeastern US and Canada, where they are harvested for food and as bait for lobster traps. Different parts of the world give alewives different names. In the 14th century, the alewife was referred to as a barkeeper's wife. It was only during the 1960s that their population started to grow out of control. Today, it is considered a nuisance species.


Alewives Are Native To The Atlantic Ocean

Alewives are native to the Atlantic Ocean. During their spawning season, they migrate up freshwater rivers to breed. While these fish can survive for a short time in freshwater, landlocked populations are considered invasive. Alewives typically live in open waters but move to shallower areas during the spawning season. In the US, they have established populations in Lake Champlain, Lake St. Catherine, and other bodies of water. These fish may have entered these waters through the Hudson River or the Richelieu River.



Alewives are a threat to salmon and trout populations. They prey on juvenile game fish and reduce the number of fish that reproduce. They also inhibit fish from producing the egg vitamin, reducing the number of young people who survive. The best way to control alewives is to prevent their spread.


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