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The Blueback herring

The Blueback herring


All year

Minimum size

no restriction but the net should not exceed 92 cm

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The Blueback Herring belongs to the Clupeidae Family. They reach a maximum size of about 40 centimeters and are assumed to live up to 8 years. They spawn from mid-March to the end of May. The Blueback herring can be fished all year round.
These fish are silvery in color, have a series of scutes along their bellies and are characterized by a deep blue-green back. What distinguish this fish the most from other species is the black to dark color of its peritoneum (the mucous membrane of the abdominal cavity). It is one of the "distinctive" North American shads. They are often confused with alewives because it is difficult to differentiate between blue shad and alewife and, together, these two species are often considered collectively as "river herring". Female have larger eyes, greater body depth and a pearl to peritoneal white lining.

The Blueback herring lifestyle

These fish diets are based on microscopic plants and animals (plankton), small insects, small fish and fish eggs (including bass).
Blueback herring breed from late March to mid-May, depending on latitude. Females generally reach the age of five years and produce between 60,000 and 103,000 eggs. Males generally mature earlier, between 3 and 4 years of age, and at a smaller size than females. For both species, adults migrate rapidly downstream after spawning and little is known about their life cycle in the marine environment; however, they are assumed to be able to migrate over long distances.

The Blueback herring habitat

This fish is anadromous, which means they lives in marine systems and spawns in deep, fast freshwater rivers with hard substrates. It migrates to spawning grounds in the spring. The blueback shad spawns in water at 14 to 17°C, usually later in the spring than the alewife. During spawning, many eggs are deposited at the bottom of the stream where they stick to gravel, pebbles, logs or other objects. Juveniles spend three to seven months in fresh water and then migrate to the ocean, and their natural range is along the Atlantic coast, from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, to the St. Johns River, Florida. During the spawning season, it migrates into coastal rivers.

The Blueback herring angling

They can be caught with dip net.

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