For the twelfth year, Connecticut anglers must throw back any river herring or blueback herring they catch in state rivers and streams. Experts at the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection say there’s been no improvement in the number of the fish, known as alewives.
In 1985, there were 630,000 blueback herring counted at the Holyoke Dam on the Connecticut River. Last year, that number was 39. Starting in 2002, the state issued the prohibition.
Alewives are migratory fish, and their numbers are reduced during their time in the ocean, possibly by the resurgence of striped bass, or possibly because they are caught in nets as by those fishing for Atlantic herring as by-catch,
Alewives are considered good bait when fishing for larger species.
Non-migratory alewives may be taken from landlocked lakes including Amos Lake, Ball Pond, Beach Pond, Candlewood Lake, Crystal Lake, Highland Lake, Lake Quassapaug, Lake Quonnipaug, Rogers Lake, Squantz Pond, Uncas Pond, and Lake Waramaug.