Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Disappearing Fish

Two fish that once could be found in numbers beyond counting can now barely be found. I’m referring to alewives and blueback herring, relatives of the American shad which, like the shad, return each spring to spawn in local rivers. Except that they’re no longer returning in any appreciable numbers and no one really knows why.

A couple of weeks ago Rhode Island did what Connecticut and Massachusetts did a few years ago – made it illegal to catch alewives or blueback herring. Officials are hoping that a complete hands-off policy will help the fish rebound while they’re trying to figure out what’s going wrong.

The Narragansett Baykeeper has been following the issue for a few weeks, and the Providence Journal has a story today.


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