Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Alosa aestivalis
(blueback herring)



Alosa aestivalis (blueback herring)


  • Last modified
  • 25 September 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Animal
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Alosa aestivalis
  • Preferred Common Name
  • blueback herring
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Chordata
  •       Subphylum: Vertebrata
  •         Class: Actinopterygii
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • A. aestivalis is an anadromous river herring native to the eastern seaboard of North America. Its native range extends from Labrador in Canada to Florida in the USA. Along this range the species inhabits coasta...

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Alosa aestivalis (blueback herring); artwork of adult fish.
TitleArtwork of adult fish
CaptionAlosa aestivalis (blueback herring); artwork of adult fish.
Copyright©Duane Raver/US Fish and Wildlife Service/ - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Alosa aestivalis (blueback herring); artwork of adult fish.
Artwork of adult fishAlosa aestivalis (blueback herring); artwork of adult fish.©Duane Raver/US Fish and Wildlife Service/ - CC BY-NC 3.0 US


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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Alosa aestivalis

Preferred Common Name

  • blueback herring

Other Scientific Names

  • Alosa cyanonoton Soter, 1848
  • Clupea aestivalis Mitchill, 1814
  • Clupea fasciate Lesueur, 1818

International Common Names

  • English: blueback shad; river herring
  • Spanish: sábalo del Canadá
  • French: alose d'été
  • Portuguese: alosa-azul

Local Common Names

  • Czech Republic: placka Americká
  • Denmark: blårygget stamsild
  • Germany: Blaurückenhering
  • Poland: aloza niebieska
  • Sweden: blå staksill

Summary of Invasiveness

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A. aestivalis is an anadromous river herring native to the eastern seaboard of North America. Its native range extends from Labrador in Canada to Florida in the USA. Along this range the species inhabits coastal, estuarine and riverine systems (as well as some invaded inland lakes). A. aestivalis lives most of its adult life at sea, returning inland to spawn. Its stocking as a food source for piscivorous game fish, as well as its inland migration through man-made locks and canals, has resulted in its invasion of many inland lakes and waterways adjacent to its native range, notably Lake Champlain and Lake Ontario in New York state. The species is a voracious planktivore and can affect the balance of the zooplankton community in introduced reservoirs. No severe effects of its introduction and spread have been documented, but it is feared that the species could establish itself in Lake Ontario and find its way into the rest of the Great Lakes. Currently the largest issue facing A. aestivalis has to do with its conservation. The IUCN (2015) lists it as vulnerable in view of the massive habitat reduction and population loss in recent years. It is also listed as a Species of Concern under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the USA (NOAA, 2013).

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Chordata
  •             Subphylum: Vertebrata
  •                 Class: Actinopterygii
  •                     Order: Clupeiformes
  •                         Family: Clupeidae
  •                             Genus: Alosa
  •                                 Species: Alosa aestivalis

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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A. aestivalis was formally classified under the genus Pomolobus (IUCN, 2015).


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From Fay et al. (1983), Animal Diversity Web (2002), Froese and Pauly (2014) and USGS NAS (2015):

A. aestivalis is a slender fish with a compressed belly. The belly exhibits keels, made up characteristically of scutes and not scales. The eye diameter of A. aestivalis is small, less than or equal to snout length. It has a silvery body with a blue (greenish) dorsal surface and a dark spot on their shoulder, above the ear flap. Specimens are on average about 27.5 cm long, with a maximum recorded length of 40 cm. It has a maximum recorded lifespan of 8 years. A. aestivalis tends to have 41 to 51 gill rakers, 15-20 dorsal soft rays and 15-21 anal soft rays. The fish’s lower jaw rises steeply within the mouth with a characteristic median notch on the upper jaw.


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A. aestivalis is a species native to the eastern coast of North America, ranging from Labrador in Canada to the St. Johns River in Florida, USA (Neves, 1981; Fay et al., 1983; Yako et al., 2002). A. aestivalis is native to all coastal drainages of New York State including the Hudson River and all Long Island rivers (K Limburg, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, USA, personal communication, 2016). However, it has been introduced to parts of New York State (including Lake Champlain), South Carolina and the northern Gulf of Mexico. A. aestivalis has spread to Lake Ontario, Vermont, Texas and the Tennessee river drainage (Rasmussen, 1998; Guest and Denner, 1991; USGS NAS, 2015).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Sea Areas

Atlantic, NorthwestWidespreadNativeUSGS, 2015
Atlantic, Western CentralWidespreadNativeUSGS, 2015

North America

CanadaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-New BrunswickWidespreadNative Not invasive USGS, 2015
-Nova ScotiaWidespreadNative Not invasive USGS, 2015
USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-ConnecticutWidespreadNative Not invasive USGS, 2015
-DelawareWidespreadNative Not invasive USGS, 2015
-GeorgiaPresentIntroduced1998Rasmussen, 1998Tennessee River drainage
-MaineWidespreadNative Not invasive USGS, 2015
-MarylandWidespreadNative Not invasive USGS, 2015
-MassachusettsWidespreadNative Not invasive USGS, 2015
-New HampshireWidespreadNative Not invasive USGS, 2015
-New JerseyWidespreadNative Not invasive USGS, 2015
-New YorkWidespreadUSGS, 2015Native to all coastal drainages, inc. Hudson River (K Limburg, pers. comm., 2016). Introduced elsewhere
-North CarolinaWidespreadNative Not invasive USGS, 2015
-PennsylvaniaWidespreadNative Not invasive USGS, 2015
-Rhode IslandWidespreadNative Not invasive USGS, 2015
-South CarolinaWidespreadIntroducedDavis and Foltz, 1991native and introduced (1972 or 1974). Jocassee Reservoir
-TennesseePresentIntroduced1998Rasmussen, 1998Tennessee River
-TexasEradicatedIntroducedGuest and Drenner, 1991Lake Theo, Briscoe County
-VermontPresentIntroduced1976USGS, 2015Lake Champlain
-VirginiaWidespreadIntroduced1958USGS, 2015Native and introduced. Inland lakes and reservoirs

History of Introduction and Spread

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USGS NAS (2015) reported the introduction of A. aestivalis outside its native range. It was intentionally stocked as a forage species in most of the state of New York, resulting in specimens being found in the 1970s in Lake Champlain and the species migration towards Vermont in the late 1990s.

The stocking of the fish in New York State, aided by migration, resulted in specimens being discovered in Lake Ontario in 1995 by the US Geological Survey. For a more detailed historical chronology of the species migration in the state of New York refer to Owens et al. (1998).

A. aestivalis was accidentally stocked in reservoirs in South Carolina in 1972 and 1973, during two threadfin shad (Dorosoma petenense) stocking episodes (Prince and Barwick, 1981). Further spread into inland lakes in the state has been linked to bait bucket contamination.

In 1962, a specimen of A. aestivalis was collected in the Northern Gulf of Mexico, off the Florida coast. USGS NAS (2015) suggests this to be part of the species’ invaded range.

Risk of Introduction

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The spread of A. aestivalis outside of its native range does not comprise a large geographical area. Due to the fact that its introduction into new areas has mostly been a result of intentional stocking, the risk factor for further introduction is human-induced spread, via bait bucket contamination and stocking. Further spread from a point of introduction could then occur via the species’ migration.

Owens et al. (1998) highlighted the likely colonization of the Great Lakes by the A. aestivalis but at present there is no report of this. The study pointed out that A. aestivalis has already been observed to spawn successfully in lakes as far inland as 430 km from the Atlantic coast. The successful reproduction of A. aestivalis in inland reservoirs in South Carolina was also confirmed by Prince and Barwick (1981). The species is similar to the alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus), a species that thrives in all of the Great Lakes. The study pointed out that the herring’s migration into Lake Ontario via the Erie Canal exposes the vulnerability of the system of lakes to exotic invasions and that it could easily migrate to other Great Lakes via the Welland Canal, Ontario. The likelihood of its colonization of the lakes depends on competitive interactions between it and the already established alewife, as well as the species’ tolerance of cold temperatures in the Great Lakes (Owens et al., 1998).

The most pertinent issue concerning A. aestivalis is not its spread into non-native territory, and its ecological impact in these new regions, but the health of its stocks. The IUCN Redlist of Threatened Species lists A. aestivalis as vulnerable in view of the massive habitat decline and population loss in recent years (IUCN, 2015) (see the Management section). It is also listed as a Species of Concern under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) throughout its range in the USA (NOAA, 2013).


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As an anadromous species, A. aestivalis hatches in freshwater systems and then migrates to the ocean, returning inland to spawn (Animal Diversity Web, 2002). The species can typically be found in riverine, estuarine and coastal systems along the eastern North American coast (up to 200 km offshore) (IUCN, 2015). Many watersheds have connected lakes that both A. aestivalis and its congener, A. psuedoharengus, use.

In Atlantic coastal regions, A. aestivalis is most commonly found at depths of 26-55 m and water temperatures between 4 and 11°C (Owens et al., 1998). Evidence suggests that spawning can occur in a variety of different habitats: shallow and deep streams, ponds, rice fields and oxbow lakes (O’Connell and Angermeier, 1997), but shallower areas with plant cover are preferred (Bozeman Jr and Van Den Avyle, 1989). It has been reported that tidal areas and brackish waters are avoided as spawning locations (Bozeman Jr and Van Den Avyle, 1989), however this is not always the case (K Limburg, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, USA, personal communication, 2016). Owens et al. (1998) suggested that the choice of different spawning locations can be linked to geographic location, pointing out that southern A. aestivalis tend to spawn in more lentic (faster-moving) waters and harder substrates than those in its northern range. This may also be linked to species competition (see O’Connell and Angermeier, 1997). Due to its spawning behaviour, the fish can inhabit a range of habitats at different life stages (Fay et al., 1983).

Habitat List

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Lakes Present, no further details
Rivers / streams Present, no further details
Estuaries Present, no further details
Inshore marine Present, no further details
Pelagic zone (offshore) Present, no further details

Biology and Ecology

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A. aestivalis undergoes widespread hybridization with A. pseudoharengus (McBride et al., 2014). These sympatric species co-occur in their native range, where spawning of the two species is only separated by two to three weeks in some regions, which can lead to spawning overlap in some cases and subsequent hybridization (McBride et al., 2014). A. pseudoharengus-A. aestivalis hybrid offspring show evidence of being fertile (McBride et al., 2014).

Palkovacs et al. (2014) identified four genetically distinguishable stocks of A. aestivalis: a northern New England stock, southern New England stock, a Mid-Atlantic stock and South-Atlantic stock. Palkovacs et al. (2014) also observed strong, significant genetic differentiation between populations stemming from different rivers and hypothesized that this is due to isolation by distance.

Turner et al. (2015) were able to identify the natal origins of A. aestivalis through a combination of otolith chemistry and genetics.

Reproductive Biology

A. aestivalis reaches sexual maturity between the ages of 3 and 4 years (Bozeman Jr and Van Den Avyle, 1989). It is a heterosexual species that reproduces sexually, with reported cases of hermaphroditism in land-locked populations (Fay et al., 1983). A. aestivalis migrates upstream to spawn in freshwater environments.

A. aestivalis is a batch spawning fish, developing a clutch of eggs over several days, spawning them, then moving on to other sites (McBride et al., 2010). Loesch and Lund Jr (1977) observed that several males swim around a single female, bumping into the female at its vent. The groups descend close to the sediment where the females release their eggs and males their milt. After spawning, adult fish rapidly retreated downstream. The fecundity of females has been attributed to total fish length, decreasing after a length of 30 cm (Loesch and Lund Jr, 1977).

Upon fertilization, eggs usually descend and adhere to the sediment. Eggs lose their adhesiveness after a period of about 24 hours and become suspended in the water column (Fay et al., 1983; Bozeman Jr and Van Den Avyle, 1989;). Eggs are between 0.87 and 1.11 mm in diameter. Incubation time is temperature-dependent, ranging from 55-58 hours at 22-24°C to 94 hours at 20°C (Fay et al., 1983).


Fay et al. (1983) observed a decrease in species longevity when moving southward along its range, with a reported maximum age of 10 years for specimens in Nova Scotia, Canada. Animal Diversity Web (2002) reported an average lifespan of 8 years for A. aestivalis.

Activity Patterns

A. aestivalis inhabits pelagic regions with homogeneous backgrounds in terms of line-of-sight. The species searches for prey while swimming and does not appear to use motion to locate prey (Janssen, 1982). A. aestivalis sights its prey overhead in its direction of swimming and swims up to catch it (Janssen, 1982). During the species’ larval stage (which lasts 25-35 days) it behaves as a particulate feeder preying on zooplankton, thereafter developing into a filter-feeding juvenile stage (Crecco and Blake, 1983).

A. aestivalis feeds primarily during daylight hours, in schools, with young feeding more actively near the surface in comparison to adults (Fay et al., 1983).

As water temperatures cool towards the end of the summer, newborn A. aestivalis migrate seawards after having spent 3-4 months in freshwater nursery areas (Domermuth and Reed, 1980). Yako et al. (2002) observed that juvenile seaward migration occurred during periods of new moon, with low rainfall and low water visibility.


A. aestivalis can filter feed and also feed on particulate matter. Its gill rakers are very close together, making it a more effective filter feeder than A. pseudoharengus, thereby giving a competitive advantage in areas of overlapping range (Owens et al., 1998). A. aestivalis is primarily a planktivorous fish, but fish, crustacean and insect eggs, insects and young fish also comprise an important part of its diet (Fay et al., 1983; Bozeman Jr and Van Den Avyle, 1989; Davis and Foltz, 1991; Simonin et al. 2007).

A. aestivalis larvae feed on zooplankton when they develop a large enough mouth, and eating larger prey as their mouth continues to grow (Bozeman Jr and Van Den Avyle, 1989; Fay et al., 1983). Crecco and Blake (1983) reported that A. aestivalis larvae feed mostly on rotifers of the genus Keratella. The stomach contents of young contained mostly remains of water fleas Bosmina sp. (Fay et al., 1983).

The diet of adults in the Lake Theo reservoir in Texas was composed primarily (89.4%) of cladocerans (Guest and Drenner, 1991). Domermuth and Reed (1980) reported that A. aestivalis feeds mostly on cladocerans, particularly the Daphnidae and Bosminidae families. Stomach contents indicated that they primarily consume planktonic and drift organisms and do not feed on benthic invertebrates or terrestrial insects. Juvenile fish sampled in the Hudson River estuary fed primarily on chironomid larvae, copepods and the gastropod Amnicola sp. (Grabe, 1996).

Natural Food Sources

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Food SourceLife StageContribution to Total Food Intake (%)Details
Keratella sp. (rotifers) Larval


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Am - Tropical monsoon climate Tolerated Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Tolerated < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
C - Temperate/Mesothermal climate Tolerated Average temp. of coldest month > 0°C and < 18°C, mean warmest month > 10°C
Cfa - Humid subtropical climate Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year, warmest month average temp. > 22°C
Cwa - Humid subtropical climate Tolerated Humid subtropical climate (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters, warmest month average temp. > 22°C)
Dwc - Continental subarctic or boreal climate Tolerated Continental subarctic or boreal climate (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, dry winters, <= 3 months @ > 10°C)

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)

Water Tolerances

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ParameterMinimum ValueMaximum ValueTypical ValueStatusLife StageNotes
Carbon Dioxide (mg/l) 4 22 Optimum
Depth (m b.s.l.) 5 55 Optimum
Dissolved oxygen (mg/l) 5 Optimum Adult
Turbidity (JTU turbidity) 100 Harmful
Water pH (pH) 5.2 6.8 Optimum
Water temperature (ºC temperature) 4 11 Optimum
Water temperature (ºC temperature) 1.3 Harmful

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Cynoscion regalis Predator All Stages not specific
Hippoglossus hippoglossus Predator All Stages not specific
Ictalurus furcatus Predator All Stages not specific
Laridae Predator All Stages not specific
Morone saxatilis Predator All Stages not specific
Pomatomus saltatrix Predator All Stages not specific
Squalus acanthias Predator All Stages not specific

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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A. aestivalis has spread inland in North America, outside of its range, through riverine waterways into inland water bodies such as Lake Ontario, mostly by way of intentional and accidental stocking but also via upriver migration through man-made locks and canals (Owens et al., 1998; Marsden and Hauser, 2009; USGS NAS, 2015).

This gregarious species is adapted to seeking new habitats in North America, likely because of post-glacial blockages if many of their spawning rivers and streams (K Limburg, SUNY College and Environmental Science and Forestry, USA, personal communication, 2016).

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Bait Yes USGS, 2015
WaterMigration through existing, interconnected, waterways. Yes Owens et al., 1998

Impact Summary

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Economic/livelihood Positive

Economic Impact

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A. aestivalis’ spawning run supports recreational and commercial fisheries across the eastern coast of North America (Crecco and Blake, 1983). The commercial landings of river herring (which comprises both A. aestivalis and A. pseudoharengus) were an average of 5,000 metric tons per year from 1977 to 1981 (Fay et al., 1983; Bozeman Jr and Van Den Avyle, 1989). However, fisheries have observed a rapid decline in stock since the late 1960s (Palkovacs et al., 2014).

Environmental Impact

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Following the introduction of A. aestivalis into the Lake Theo reservoir in Texas, USA, large bodied zooplankton species of the genera Leptodora, Episcura, Mesocyclops and Daphnia were eliminated, and smaller sized species increased in numbers (Guest and Drenner, 1991). The Lake Theo introduction resulted in a shift in the dominant species in the zooplankton community, and the feeding behaviour of A. aestivalis shifted the dominance from cladocerans to copepods (Guest and Drenner, 1991). These findings suggest that A. aestivalis introduction can result in changes in the zooplankton community balance, specifically in closed systems such as a reservoir.

Davis and Foltz (1991) assessed the possibility of competitive effects between threadfin shad, Dorosoma petenense, and A. aestivalis in the Jocassee Reservoir in South Carolina, USA. Both fish were stocked as prey for piscivorous fish. Davis and Foltz (1991) observed low dietary overlap between the species even though they are on the same trophic level. Despite their low competitive interactions, the study concluded that A. aestivalis are ‘voracious planktivores’ as well as piscivores, increasing the likelihood that it may affect zooplankton as well as small fish populations of any system where they may be introduced. It has also been suggested that invasive A. aestivalis can potentially affect native populations of smelt and forage fish (Marsden and Hauser, 2009).

A. aestivalis is a keystone species in coastal lakes and plays a very important role in nutrient exchange between marine and freshwater environments (Palkovacs et al., 2014). Its population decline due to land use changes and over-fishing pressures can lead to nutrient deficiencies in aquatic systems and shift the ecological balance of ecosystems in its native range.

Social Impact

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Recreational fishing of A. aestivalis occurs during the spring spawning run in areas such as Chesapeake Bay, in Maryland/Virginia (Fay et al., 1983).

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Has a broad native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Gregarious
  • Has high genetic variability
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Difficult to identify/detect in the field


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A. aestivalis’ spawning run supports recreational and commercial fisheries across the eastern coast of North America (Crecco and Blake, 1983). River herring (A. aestivalis and A. pseudoharengus) is used for fish meal and fish oil to be added to fertilizer, pet food and domestic animal feed, with a smaller portion used for fishing bait and the remainder for human consumption (Fay et al., 1983).

Population decline and management

There has been a decline in A. aestivalis populations in its northeastern range, linked to pressures from ecosystem changes due to land use changes (Yako et al., 2002; ASMFC, 2012a). The IUCN Redlist of Threatened Species lists A. aestivalis as vulnerable in view of the massive habitat decline and population loss in recent years (IUCN, 2015). The river herring fishery, of which A. aestivalis is a part, represents one of the oldest fisheries in North America and its stocks have been in decline since as early as the 1700s (Palkovacs et al., 2014). The destruction of habitat, overfishing, damn construction (which impedes spawning ground access), and water contamination have all contributed to this decline (McBride et al., 2014; Palkovacs et al., 2014). Since the end of the 1960s, total A. aestivalis landings have dropped by 93% (ASMFC, 2012b), resulting in its declaration as a species of concern by the National Marine Fisheries Service in the US (Palkovacs et al., 2014). A. aestivalis stocks are now under ‘precautionary conservation management’ (McBride et al., 2014), with fishing restrictions implemented in all coastal states (McBride et al., 2014; Palkovacs et al., 2014). Management and conservation efforts other than fishing restrictions include the reclamation of spawning habitat, efforts to reduce water pollution and stock transplantation programs (McBride et al., 2014).

Uses List

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Animal feed, fodder, forage

  • Fishmeal
  • Fodder/animal feed


  • Sport (hunting, shooting, fishing, racing)


  • Fertilizer
  • Oils

Detection and Inspection

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Guest and Drenner (1991) collected adult A. aestivalis using dip nets and cast nets during the species’ spawning run.

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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Alosa pseudoharengus, commonly known as alewife, is an anadromous clupeid closely related to A. aestivalis (MacLellan et al., 1981Fay et al., 1983; McBride et al., 2014), and it can be difficult to tell the two species apart (Animal Diversity Web, 2002; USGS NAS, 2015). Both are sympatric species, known collectively as river herring (McBride et al., 2014), and overlap in most of their native range and fulfil similar ecological functions in the systems they inhabit (Fay et al., 1983; Neves, 1981). The physical appearance of A. pseudoharengus is very similar to A. aestivalis; differentiation is in most cases achieved by eye size comparison and by determining the colour of the abdominal peritoneum (Neves, 1981). The eye of A. aestivalis is smaller than that of A. pseudoharengus, and the lining of the peritoneum is characteristically black in A. aestivalis as opposed to pale to lightly pigmented in A. pseudoharengus, but making this distinction requires killing a live sample (Animal Diversity Web, 2002). Fay et al. (1983) highlighted physical aids to distinguish between the species, but mentioned that none of the distinctive characteristics are always species-specific.

Generally speaking, A. astivali, can be hard to distinguish from other herring species, particularly as juveniles, and so are often misidentified (K Limburg, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, USA, personal communication, 2016).


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Animal Diversity Web, 2002. Animal Diversity Web. Michigan, USA: Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan.

ASMFC (Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission), 2012. River herring benchmark stock assessment. Volume 1. Stock Assessment Report No. 12-02 of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Washington DC, USA.

ASMFC (Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission), 2012. Terms of Reference and Advisory Report of the River Herring Stock Assessment Peer Review. Stock Assessment Report No 12-02. Virginia, Arlington, USA: Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.

Bozeman Jr EL; Avyle MJ Van Den, 1989. Species profiles: life histories and environmental requirements of coastal fishes and invertebrates (South Atlantic). US Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Reports. 8 (11.111) TR EL-82-4. US Army Corps of Engineers, 17 pp.

Crecco VA; Blake MM, 1983. Feeding ecology of coexisting larvae of American shad and blueback herring in the Connecticut River. Transaction of the American Fisheries Society, 112(4):498-507.

Davis BM; Foltz JW, 1991. Food of blueback herring and threadfin shad in Jocassee Reservoir, South Carolina. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, 120(5):605-613.

Domermuth RB; Reed RJ, 1980. Food of juvenile American shad, Alosa sapidissima, juvenile blueback herring, Alosa aestivalis, and pumpkinseed, Lepomis gibbosus, in the Connecticut River below Holyoke Dam, Massachusetts. Estuaries, 3(1):65-68.

Froese R; Pauly D, 2014. FishBase.

Grabe SA, 1996. Feeding chronology and habits of Alosa spp. (Clupeidae) juveniles from the lower Hudson River estuary, New York. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 47(3):321-326.

Guest WC; Drenner RW, 1991. Relationship between feeding of blueback herring and the zooplankton community of a Texas reservoir. Hydrobiologia, 209(1):1-6.

ITIS, 2015. Integrated Taxonomic Information System online database.

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Janssen J, 1982. Comparison of searching behavior for zooplankton in an obligate planktivore, blueback herring (Alosa aestivalis) and a facultative planktivore, bluegill (Lepomis machrochirus). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 39(12):1649-1654.

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MacLellan P; Newsome G; Dill PA, 1981. Discrimination by external features between alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) and blueback herring (A. aestivalis). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 38(5):544-546.

Marsden JE; Hauser M, 2009. Exotic species in Lake Champlain. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 35(2):250-265.

McBride MC; Willis TV; Bradford RG; Bentzen P, 2014. Genetic diversity and structure of two hybridizing anadromous fishes (Alosa pseudoharengus, Alosa aestivalis) across the northern portion of their ranges. Conservation Genetics, 15(6):1281-1298.

McBride RS; Harris JE; Hyle AR, 2010. The Spawning Run of Blueback Herring in the St Johns River, Florida. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, 139:598-609.

Mullen DM; Fay CW; Moring JR, 1986. Species profiles: life histories and environmental requirements of coastal fishes and invertebrates (North Atlantic)-alewife/blueback herring. Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Report, 82(11.56). U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 21 pp.

Neves RJ, 1981. Offshore distribution of alewife, Alosa pseudoharengus, and blueback herring, Alosa aestivalis, along the Atlantic coast. National Marine Fisheries Service Fishery Bulletin, 79:473-485.

NOAA, 2013. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service, Species of Concern, Blueback Herring, Alosa aestivalis.

O'Connell AMU; Angermeier PL, 1997. Spawning location and distribution of early life stages of alewife and blueback herring in a Virginia stream. Estuaries, 20(4):779-791.

Owens RW; O'Gorman R; Mills EL; Rudstam LG; Hasse JJ; Kulik BH; MacNeill DB, 1998. Blueback herring (Alosa aestivalis) in Lake Ontario: first record, entry route, and colonization potential. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 24:723-730.

Palkovacs EP, 2014. Combining genetic and demographic information to prioritize conservation efforts for anadromous alewife and blueback herring. Evolutionary Applications, 7(2):212-226.

Prince ED; Barwick DH, 1981. Landlocked blueback herring in two South Carolina reservoirs: reproduction and suitability as stocked prey. North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 1(1):41-45.

Rasmussen JL, 1998. Aquatic nuisance species of the Mississippi river basin. In: 60th Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference, Aquatic Nuisance Species Symposium, Dec. 7, 1998, Cincinnati, OH. unpaginated.

Simonin PW; Limburg KE; Machut LS, 2007. Bridging the Energy Gap - Anadromous Blueback Herring Feeding in the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers New York. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, 136:1614-1621.

Turner S; Limburg K; Palkovacs E, 2015. Can Different Combinations of Natural Tags Identify River Herring Natal Origin at Different Levels of Stock Structure. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 72:1-10.

USGS NAS, 2015. USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida, USA: USGS.

Yako LA; Mather ME; Juanes F, 2002. Mechanisms for migration of anadromous herring: an ecological basis for effective conservation. Ecological Applications, 12(2):521-534.

Links to Websites

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Integrated Taxomonic Information Service (ITIS)
Non Indigenous Aquatic Species (NAS)


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23/03/15 Original text by:

Adrian Mellage, consultant, Honduras

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