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You are here: Home / Aquatic Species / Species Profiles / Alewife
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AlewifeScientific name: Alosa pseudoharengus (Wilson, 1811) (ITIS)

Common names: Alewife, mulhaden, grey herring, golden shad

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Selected Resources

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)

Impact: Various impacts to native species (CABI)

Current U.S. Distribution: Great Lakes; Inland waters throughout Eastern U.S.


Selected Resources:


Species Information Sheets - Alewife
Michigan State University. Midwest Invasive Species Information Network.

Invasive Species Compendium - Alosa pseudoharengus
CAB International.

Global Invasive Species Database - Alosa pseudoharengus (fish)
IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.

Federal Government

Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database: Fact Sheet - Alewife
DOI. USGS. Wetland and Aquatic Research Center.
Provides distribution maps and collection information (State and County).

State Government

Aquatic Invasive Species: Alewife (Apr 2009; PDF | 298 KB)
Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
See also: Invasive Species for exotic animal and plant pests invading Indiana, causing economic and visual damage

Species Guide Index - Fish: Alewife
Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Division of Wildlife.


Introduced Species Summary Project - Alewife
Columbia University. Center for Environmental Research and Conservation.

Invasive Species Fact Sheets - Alewife
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute.


CABI. Invasive Species Compendium. Alosa pseudoharengus. CAB International. [Accessed Oct 26, 2015].

Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Alosa pseudoharengus. [Accessed Sep 10, 2014].

Miller, R.R. 1957. Origin and dispersal of the alewife, Alosa pseudoharengus, and the gizzard shad, Dorosoma cepedianum, in the Great Lakes. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 86:97-111.

Stahlnecker, J.F. 2000. Production of juvenile alewives (Alosa pseudoharengus) at two adult alewife stocking rates in two Maine lakes. University of Maine, Orono.

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Last Modified: May 12, 2018
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