Where did the word alewife come from?

The front of the body is deep and larger than other fish found in the same waters, and its common name is said to come from comparison with a corpulent female tavernkeeper (“ale-wife”).

Can you eat alewife fish?

Sure, you can eat them during lean times, and maybe the old hands will wax poetic about smoked and salted alewife, but nowadays the fish are likely to be used for pet food, fertilizer or lobster bait. Alewives were once a prominent-albeit seasonal-member of the native fish community in Atlantic coastal watersheds.

What kind of fish is an alewife?

Alewives and blueback herring spawn in freshwater but spend most of their life at sea. They don’t jump like salmon, but they can swim very fast in short bursts to pass through rapids. They migrate from the ocean back to their home rivers in spring, where they were hatched to spawn.

Why is the alewife a problem?

Why is it a problem? Alewives eat the same prey, zooplankton, as many native species; they may also eat their eggs and larvae. Although alewives serve as food for lake trout, a diet high in alewives lowers reproductive success for the trout.

Is alewife invasive?

In their native range, alewives (Alosa pseudoharengus) are a saltwater fish that swim up freshwater rivers and streams to spawn. Landlocked populations are able to complete their entire life cycle in freshwater and are usually considered invasive.

What do alewife mean?

An alewife is a small fish, a type of herring. Alewives are found in the Atlantic Ocean, primarily in the Northeast of the US and Canada. In the 14th century, an alewife was a tavern or bar keeper’s wife: the fish got the name in the 1600s, as a kind of bad joke, from the shape of its rounded abdomen.

What does alewife taste like?

“They can be smoked, canned, and pickled. They taste like mackerel.

Do salmon eat alewives?

A lake-wide study of salmon and trout conducted in 2015–16 found that diet flexibility varies among salmon and trout species, but Chinook salmon, the favorite of many anglers, are basically eating only alewife. The research team found that all five salmon and trout species ate alewife.

What happened to the alewives in Lake Michigan?

Most scientists believe the drop has been due to a combination of factors, including invasive zebra and quagga mussels which remove plankton from the lake and reduce the amount of food available for other organisms, as well as predation on forage fish by salmon and trout.

Are there alewives in Lake Superior?

The species was first reported from Lake Erie in 1931, Lake Huron in 1933, Lake Michigan in 1949, and Lake Superior in 1954. The spread of Alewives in the upper Great Lakes is thought to be enabled by warmer weather in the 1950’s (O’Gorman and Stewart 1999). The Alewife was intentionally stocked in inland waters.

Where are alewife found?

Alewives are native to the Atlantic Ocean and the lakes and streams that drain to it from Newfoundland to North Carolina. They are “anadromous”, which means that they live most of their lives in the sea but migrate into freshwater rivers and streams to breed.

What has probably caused the population of blue backed herring to decline?

Declines in these populations were caused by the construction of dams and heavy industrial pollution, which rendered many waters unsuitable for their migration into freshwater spawning areas.

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