Animalia > Chordata > Actinopterygii > Clupeiformes > Clupeidae > Alosa > Alosa pseudoharengus

Alosa pseudoharengus (kyack; Alewife; River herring; White herring; Sawbelly; Kyak; Greyback; Grayback; Gray herring; Freshwater herring; Corned alewives; Clipped roefish; Branch herring; Bigeye herring; Anadromous alewives)

Synonyms: Clupea megalops; Clupea parvula; Clupea pseudoharengus; Clupea vernalis; Clupea virescens; Meletta venosa; Pomolobus pseudoharengus
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Wikipedia Abstract

The alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) is an anadromous species of herring found in North America. It is one of the "typical" North American shads, attributed to the subgenus Pomolobus of the genus Alosa.Alewives reach a maximum length of about 40 centimeters (16 in), but have an average length of about 25 centimeters (10 inches).
View Wikipedia Record: Alosa pseudoharengus

Invasive Species

Alosa pseudoharengus (alewife) is a small, fish species indigenous to the east coast of North America that causes several major effects in aquatic environments. Alewife migrate from the ocean to spawn in fresh water. It can occupy all strata of a land-locked body of water throughout the course of the year. A. pseudoharengus alters the zooplankton community as it is an extremely efficient feeder on zooplankton, competing with other fish species for food. Alewife feed on the eggs and larvae of other fish and thereby can cause other fish species to decline. It is often stocked as a forage fish.
View ISSG Record: Alosa pseudoharengus


Adult Weight [3]  110 grams
Female Maturity [2]  4 years 6 months
Male Maturity [3]  3 years 6 months
Adult Length [2]  16 inches (40 cm)
Brood Dispersal [2]  In the open
Brood Egg Substrate [2]  Phyto-lithophils
Brood Guarder [2]  No
Diet [1]  Planktivore
Litter Size [2]  300,000
Maximum Longevity [2]  8 years
Migration [1]  Anadromous
Nocturnal [1]  Yes
Water Biome [1]  Lakes and Ponds, Rivers and Streams, Coastal

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Acadia National Park II 35996 Maine, United States
Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge VI 16363 Delaware, United States
Bruce Peninsula National Park II   Ontario, Canada
Cape Breton Highlands National Park II 234333 Nova Scotia, Canada  
Cape Cod National Seashore II 21724 Massachusetts, United States
Champlain-Adirondack Biosphere Reserve 9859505 New York, Vermont, United States  
Fathom Five National Marine Park II   Ontario, Canada
Forillon National Park II 61010 Quebec, Canada  
Gateway National Recreation Area V 1807 New Jersey, United States
George Washington Memorial Parkway V   Virginia, United States
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore II 8272 Indiana, United States
Kouchibouguac National Park II 59161 New Brunswick, Canada
New Jersey Pinelands Biosphere Reserve   New Jersey, United States  
Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve 470167 Ontario, Canada  
Point Pelee National Park II 5764 Ontario, Canada
Prince Edward Island National Park II   Prince Edward Island, Canada  
Pukaskwa National Park II 459860 Ontario, Canada
Rock Creek Park   District of Columbia, United States
Saguenay - St. Lawrence Marine Park National Marine Conservation Area II 310822 Canada
Saint Lawrence Islands National Park II   Ontario, Canada
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore II 62563 Michigan, United States


Prey / Diet

Ammodytes dubius (offshore sand lance)[4]
Amnicola limosus (mud amnicola)[5]
Bythotrephes longimanus (spiny waterflea)[5]
Cyclops bicuspidatus (cyclopoid copepod)[5]
Daphnia galeata (waterflea)[5]
Diaptomus sicilis (calanoid copepod)[5]
Diporeia hoyi (amphipod)[5]
Meganyctiphanes norvegica (Norwegian krill)[4]
Mysis relicta (opossum shrimp)[5]
Neomysis americana (Mysid shrimp)[4]
Sergentia coracina (chironomid)[5]

Prey / Diet Overlap

Competing SpeciesCommon Prey Count
Alosa sapidissima (American shad)1
Amblyraja radiata (Starry ray)3
Ammodytes dubius (offshore sand lance)1
Anarhichas lupus (Wolffish)1
Anchoa hepsetus (Broad-striped anchovy)1
Argentina silus (Atlantic argentine)1
Balaenoptera acutorostrata (Minke Whale)1
Brevoortia aurea (Brazilian menhaden)1
Brevoortia tyrannus (Shad)1
Brosme brosme (Tusk)1
Centropristis striata (Sea bass)3
Coregonus albula (European whitefish)1
Coregonus clupeaformis (Common whitefish)5
Coregonus hoyi (Bloater)8
Coregonus zenithicus (Longjaw cisco)1
Cottus cognatus (Anadyr sculpin)8
Cynoscion regalis (Weakfish)2
Cynoscion striatus (Striped weakfish)1
Dasyatis centroura (clam cracker)1
Etmopterus spinax (Black centrina)1
Eutrigla gurnardus (Grey gurnard)1
Gadus morhua (rock cod)1
Galeus melastomus (Black-mouth catshark)1
Gasterosteus aculeatus (Alaskan stickleback)1
Glyptocephalus cynoglossus (Witch flounder)1
Halichoerus grypus (Gray Seal)1
Hippoglossina oblonga (Fourspot flounder)1
Hippoglossoides platessoides (American dab)1
Hippoglossus stenolepis (Pacific halibut)1
Hoplostethus mediterraneus (Mediterranean redfish)1
Lamna nasus (Porbeagle shark)1
Larimus fasciatus (Banded drum)1
Leiostomus xanthurus (Spot croaker)1
Leucoraja erinacea (common skate)2
Leucoraja ocellata (Winter skate)1
Limanda ferruginea (rusty flounder)1
Lota lota (Thin-tailed burbot)1
Macrourus berglax (smoothspined grenadier)1
Malacoraja senta (Smooth skate)2
Melanogrammus aeglefinus (Smokie)2
Menticirrhus saxatilis (Northern kingfish)1
Merluccius bilinearis (Whiting)3
Micromesistius poutassou (Poutassou)1
Micropogonias furnieri (Whitemouth drummer)1
Morone americana (Wreckfish)1
Mycteroperca microlepis (Velvet rockfish)1
Myoxocephalus aenaeus (Little sculpin)1
Myoxocephalus octodecemspinosus (Sea raven)1
Myoxocephalus quadricornis (Alaska fourhorn sculpin)8
Neogobius melanostomus (Round goby)1
Nezumia bairdii (Marlin-spike grenadier)1
Oceanodroma leucorhoa (Leach's Storm-Petrel)1
Oncorhynchus mykiss (redband trout)4
Osmerus eperlanus (European smelt)2
Osmerus mordax (Rainbow smelt)8
Paralichthys dentatus (fluke)2
Paralichthys orbignyanus1
Perca flavescens (Yellow perch)8
Phycis chesteri (Longfin hake)1
Pollachius virens (Sillock)2
Pomatomus saltatrix (Tailor run)1
Pomatoschistus minutus (freckled goby)1
Prionotus carolinus (Searobin)1
Prionotus evolans (Striped searobin)1
Pseudopleuronectes americanus (rough flounder)1
Reinhardtius hippoglossoides (Turbot)1
Sander vitreus (Walleye)4
Scomber scombrus (Split)2
Scophthalmus aquosus (brill)3
Scyliorhinus canicula (Small-spotted catshark)1
Scyliorhinus retifer (Chain dogfish)1
Sebastes fasciatus (Acadian redfish)1
Squalus acanthias (Common spiny)1
Stenotomus chrysops (Scup)2
Sterna paradisaea (Arctic Tern)1
Syngnathus fuscus (Northern pipefish)1
Thunnus thynnus (horse mackerel)1
Urophycis chuss (Squirrel hake)3
Urophycis regia (Spotted hake)2
Urophycis tenuis (White hake)1


Lota lota (Thin-tailed burbot)[5]
Micropterus dolomieu (Smallmouth bass)[5]
Oncorhynchus kisutch (coho salmon or silver salmon)[5]
Oncorhynchus mykiss (redband trout)[5]
Oncorhynchus tshawytscha (chinook salmon or king salmon)[5]
Phalacrocorax auritus (Double-crested Cormorant)[6]
Salmo trutta (Brown trout)[5]
Salvelinus namaycush (American lake char)[5]
Sander vitreus (Walleye)[5]
Squalus acanthias (Common spiny)[4]


Parasitized by 
Acanthocephalus dirus[7]
Anisakis simplex[7]
Brachyphallus crenatus[7]
Cyathocephalus truncatus <Unverified Name>[7]
Derogenes varicus[7]
Diplostomum spathaceum[7]
Echinorhynchus gadi[7]
Echinorhynchus salmonis[7]
Eubothrium salvelini[7]
Grillotia erinaceus[7]
Haplonema hamulatum <Unverified Name>[7]
Hemiurus levinseni[7]
Ichthyocotylurus erraticus[7]
Lecithaster confusus[7]
Mazocraeoides georgei[7]
Paratenuisentis ambiguus[7]
Posthodiplostomum minimum[7]
Pseudoterranova decipiens[7]
Scolex pleuronectis <Unverified Name>[7]
Scolex polymorphus <Unverified Name>[7]

Institutions (Zoos, etc.)

Institution Infraspecies / Breed 
John G. Shedd Aquarium

Range Map

America, North - Inland waters; Atlantic Ocean; Atlantic, Northwest; Atlantic, Western Central; Canada; Great Lakes; Nearctic; Newfoundland-Labrador Shelf; North America: Atlantic coast from the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Nova Scotia to North Carolina and in streams and rivers; also occurs in Lake Seneca and Cayuga; introduced into Lake Ontario, now landlocked there and in Lakes Erie, Huron, Michigan and Supe; North America: Atlantic coast from the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Nova Scotia to North Carolina and in streams and rivers; also occurs in Lake Seneca and Cayuga; introduced into Lake Ontario, now landlocked there and in Lakes Erie, Huron, Michigan and Superior.; Northeast U.S. Continental Shelf; Scotian Shelf; St. Lawrence; USA (contiguous states);



Attributes / relations provided by 1Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at 2Frimpong, E.A., and P. L. Angermeier. 2009. FishTraits: a database of ecological and life-history traits of freshwater fishes of the United States. Fisheries 34:487-495. 3de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774 4Food of Northwest Atlantic Fishes and Two Common Species of Squid, Ray E. Bowman, Charles E. Stillwell, William L. Michaels, and Marvin D. Grosslein, NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-NE-155 (2000) 5NOAA, Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory 6Food Web Relationships of Northern Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca : a Synthesis of the Available Knowledge, Charles A. Simenstad, Bruce S. Miller, Carl F. Nyblade, Kathleen Thornburgh, and Lewis J. Bledsoe, EPA-600 7-29-259 September 1979 7Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
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