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Alewife Details
Name: Alewife
Water Type: anadromous
Latin Name: Alosa pseudoharengus
Common Names: Alewife, River Herring, Sawbelly
Ideal Water Temp: Alewives begin to spawn when the water temperature
World Record: .40 lbs
Description: Also known as River Herring or Sawbelly, its common name is said to come from comparison with a corpulent female tavernkeeper ("ale-wife"). They are found in temperate regions of North America; the Atlantic coast from the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Nova Scotia to North Carolina and in streams and rivers. Alewives have also established many landlocked populations throughout this range.

Little is known about the habits of this fish in salt-water, but movement of schooling adults is apparently restricted to coastal areas proximal to natal estuaries. During it's spawning migration in the spring, it ascends most of the suitable streams.

Alewives occasionally obtain a length of 16 inches, but average 10 to 12 inches. Landlocked Alewives become dwarfed, usually reaching only 4-6 inches. The Alewife is a moderately compressed fish, with a belly with a distinct keel of scutes. The lower jaw rises steeply within the mouth and minute teeth are present at the front of the jaws (disappearing with age). Alewives have lower gill rakers that increase in number with age. There is typically a dark spot on shoulder. They can be distinguished from A. aestivalis by its silvery peritoneum (the lining of the body cavity); the eye is larger than snout length; and the back is grayish-green on capture. Mature Alewives feed on shrimps and small fishes.

This fish is an important commercial species along the Atlantic Coast. It is marketed in a variety of ways, including smoked, salted, pickled, for human consumption and as pet food, fish meal and bait. The Alewive is an important food source for many ocean fish including Striped Bass and Salmon.
Tips, Techniques, Discussion: There are 8 comments for this species. Come and join the conversation.

Last comment was on 10/06/11 07:17 AM by protacanthopterix
Recipes: There is 1 recipe for this species. View these recipes.

Last recipe was on 05/05/10 12:29 PM by 401mike401
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Alewife Alewife
Hammonton Lake, NJ
Added by santovalle
# of Comments: 1

   Alosa pseudoharengus Alosa pseudoharengus
Added by protacanthopterix
Avg. Rating: 5
# of Ratings: 1
# of Comments: 1

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Last Edited By:protacanthopterix on 10/06/11 07:32 AM
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