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Scientific Name

Alosa pseudoharengus (Wilson, 1811) (ITIS)

Common Name

Alewife, mulhaden, grey herring, golden shad

Native To

Atlantic Ocean (CABI)

Date of U.S. Introduction

Known to have been present in Lake Ontario in 1873. Possibly native to Lake Ontario. Present in Lake Erie in 1931, Huron in 1933, Michigan in 1949, and Lake Superior in 1954 (Miller 1957)

Means of Introduction

Spread to Lake Erie through the Welland Canal; presumed to have spread from Lake Erie to other Great Lakes via the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair (Miller 1957); intentionally stocked in inland waters (Stahlnecker 2000)


Various impacts to native species (CABI)

Current U.S. Distribution

Great Lakes; Inland waters throughout Eastern U.S.

Image use policy



Photo by Shawn Good; Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife

Find more images

Distribution / Maps / Survey Status


Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source.

Council or Task Force
  • Fact Sheet: Alewife [PDF, 1.3 MB]

    • Jan 2018
    • Alberta Invasive Species Council (Canada).

    • See also: Fact Sheets for more information about individual invasive species, including those listed as "Prohibited Noxious" and "Noxious" under the Alberta Weed Control Act

Federal Government