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Fish

Herring

  

Family: Clupdeidae - herrings

Distribution and Habitat

N=Native, I=Introduced (exotic), X=Extinct, P=Extirpated

Image/Link Scientific Name Common Name Lake Superior Lake Michigan

Lake Huron

Lake Erie Lake Ontario Habitat
Alosa aestivalis Alosa aestivalis blueback herring         I  
alewife Alosa pseudoharengus alewife I I I I N? pelagic/euryhaline
American shad Alosa sapidissima American shad         P pelagic/euryhaline
gizzard shad Dorosoma cepedianum gizzard shad N N N N N pelagic/littoral/river

Table modified from "The Life of the Lakes: A Guide to the Great Lakes Fishery" MI Sea Grant Extension, Michigan State University - with additions from the Great Lakes Nonindigenous Species List.

? Whether alewife is native to Lake Ontario or invaded via canals or early stocking programs is not certain.

Species Profiles

Alosa aestivalis - blueback herring

Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Profile - Inland Fishes of New York

Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Scientific Profile - Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database

bird icon indicates a link to a Sea Grant siteScientific Literature - Clearinghouse

GLANSIS

First observed in Lake Ontario in 1873 - invaded via canals from the Atlantic. Difficult to distinguish from alewife - the most reliable identifying characteristic is the color of the tissue lining the body cavity, dark brown or blackish in the blueback herring and grey or silvery in the alewife. Bluebacks feed on plankton, various small floating animals, small fish fry, and fish eggs. Anadromous. Length to 40cm.
blueback herring artwork

Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site. Inland Fishes of New York

 

Alosa pseudoharengus - alewife

Bird icon indicates a link to a non-GLERL NOAA siteProfile - Wisconsin Sea Grant
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Profile - Fish of Indiana
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Profile - Inland Fishes of New York
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Profile - Great Lakes Field Guide - A Superior Adventure - Bell Museum
Bird icon indicates a link to a non-GLERL NOAA siteScientific Profile - Fishes of Wisconsin
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Scientific Profile - Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Scientific Profile - U of MI Museum of Zoology

GLANSIS

Anadromous. Originally landlocked in Lake Ontario and some tributary lakes; now in all of the Great Lakes. Occupies lakes to depths of 60 m. Feed on plankton. Length to 25 cm.

Photo alewife

Bird icon indicates a link to a non-GLERL NOAA siteWisconsin Sea Grant

Photo alewife dieoff

Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.USGS Great Lakes Science Center

Other drawings/artwork:
GLERL Waterlife Photo Gallery
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Inland Fishes of New York

Other Photos:
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.The Virtual Aquarium at Virginia Tech
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.University of Michigan Museum of Zoology
Globe icon indicates a link to a non-NOAA siteGLNPO - Great Lakes Invasives

 

Alosa sapidissima - American shad

Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Scientific Profile - U of MI Museum of Zoology Formerly in Lake Ontario basin, once stocked in Lake Erie. Marine but ascending streams to spawn. Feed on plankton. Length to 35 cm.

Photo American ShadPhoto American shad head

Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.University of Michigan Museum of Zoology

American shad artwork

Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.US Fish and Wildlife Service

American shad (photo credit Bob Jenkins and Noel Burkhead)

Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.The Virtual Aquarium at Virginia Tech

 

Dorosoma cepedianum - gizzard shad

Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Profile - Fish of Indiana
Bird icon indicates a link to a non-GLERL NOAA siteScientific Profile - Fishes of Wisconsin
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Scientific Profile - U of MI Museum of Zoology

Length to 45 cm. Feeds on microscopic plants and animal life.

Drawing - gizzard shad

GLERL Waterlife Photo Gallery

gizzard shad (photo credit Bob Jenkins and Noel Burkhead)

Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.The Virtual Aquarium at Virginia Tech

Other drawings/artwork:
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Fish of Indiana

Other photos:
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Fishes of Minnesota
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.University of Michigan Museum of Zoology

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