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Alewife - Photo by Shawn Good; Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife
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.

Distribution / Maps / Survey Status

DOI. USGS. Wetland and Aquatic Research Center.
Provides detailed collection information as well as animated map.


University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.


Google. YouTube; Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.

Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source. Or, to display all related content view all resources for Alewife.

Council or Task Force

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

IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.
Michigan State University. Midwest Invasive Species Information Network.
Federal Government
DOI. USGS. Wetland and Aquatic Research Center.
Provides distribution maps and collection information (State and County).
Columbia University. Center for Environmental Research and Conservation.

University of Wisconsin Sea Grant.