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  • Management and Monitoring

    There are various management and monitoring efforts underway to both conserve and learn more about river herring. Read More . . .

  • Plan Components

    The Conservation Plan components includes topics the TEWG subgroups discussed as well as other important considerations. Read More . . .

  • Coastwide Perspective

    Conservation of river herring must be holistic given their coastwide range and the many threats that they face. Read More . . .

  • Research and Conservation

    Research and conservation needs for river herring have been identified over the years. Most recently, the TEWG and its subgroups have worked to consider ongoing efforts by topic to determine what continued to be needed to restore river herring. Read More . . .

  • Looking Forward

    This Conservation Plan is intended to increase public awareness about river herring, stimulate cooperative research efforts, and inform efforts to conserve the species. Read More . . .

River Herring Conservation Plan

The River Herring Conservation Plan is a strategy, including implementation, to increase public awareness about river herring, stimulate cooperative research, and inform efforts to help restore river herring (alewife and blueback herring) throughout much of their Atlantic coastal range. The plan builds upon the many previous and ongoing efforts to further river herring conservation, coordinates ongoing activities and incorporates information provided by the River Herring Technical Expert Working Group  (TEWG).

What's New


The River Herring Conservation Plan is provided in a web-based format so that it can be dynamic and easily updated. The plan will be monitored, evaluated, and updated as actions are taken to achieve the following goals:

  1. Identify key research needs for assessment and conservation
  2. Increase coordination of river herring research and conservation
  3. Identify funding sources for river herring research and conservation
  4. Identify conservation actions to address threats
  5. Cultivate research groups to address key topics
  6. Improve information to be used in the next assessment
  7. Improve information used in conservation efforts
  8. Further conservation efforts to address threats
  9. Increase outreach about river herring

Since initiation of our partnership in August 2013 to develop the plan, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), working collaboratively with our partners, have made important progress on each of these goals. An overview of some of the successes highlighted in the River Herring Conservation Plan include:

Find additional information on Ongoing Management and Monitoring, Research/Conservation Needs and Ongoing Efforts, and Conclusions & Looking Forward under the tabs above. You can also find additional background information and other links under the dropdown lists for each tab.


NMFS and ASMFC committed to work collaboratively with our partners to implement a coordinated coast-wide effort to proactively conserve river herring and address data gaps. The Technical Expert Working Group (TEWG), composed of individuals with expertise related to river herring, threats to their survival, and/or methods for assessing human and non-human impacts to river herring populations, was developed for river herring throughout both species’ range from Canada to Florida, to provide information for use in the development of this conservation plan. A goal of the initiative is to include input from technical experts from the following: Federal government agencies (NOAA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, etc.), East Coast Native American Tribes and First Nations, ASMFC, the regional Fishery Management Councils, state fish/wildlife agencies, environmental/conservation groups, scientific/academic representatives, industry (e.g., hydroelectric and fishing), and recreational interests.  More information on partnerships can be found in the background section of this plan.