Management and Monitoring
There are various management and monitoring efforts underway to both conserve and learn more about river herring. Read More . . .
The Conservation Plan components includes topics the TEWG subgroups discussed as well as other important considerations. Read More . . .
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 . . .
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).||
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:
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:
- Coordination was increased with partners through establishment of the TEWG, including six subgroups and one integration committee.
- Two projects were funded through a Plan Request for Proposal process to further information on river herring populations (~$243,659).
- A dynamic and comprehensive plan for advancing research, coordination, conservation and outreach was developed by NMFS and ASMFC. The Plan considers the information compiled by the TEWG and will be further refined based on TEWG and public input.
- Conducted an ASMFC 2015 River Herring Data Collection Standardization Meeting to discuss standardized approaches to data collection with funding from NMFS.
- NMFS Greater Atlantic Region funded a Northeast Fisheries Science Center project to develop a river herring/ Atlantic herring / Atlantic mackerel overlap forecast tool for use by the Atlantic herring and Atlantic mackerel fisheries to minimize incidental catch of river herring.
- Funding was provided to the Atlantic Salmon Federation and St. Croix International Waterway Commission to continue river herring counts at the Milltown Dam fishway in the St. Croix watershed by NMFS (via ASMFC) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).
- A coastwide social science survey to document fishermen’s observations of river herring in commercial, recreational, and subsistence fisheries was conducted through NOAA.
- Continued habitat conservation and passage restoration efforts. For example, the Penobscot River in Maine and the Choptank River in Maryland were selected as Habitat Focus Areas under NOAA's Habitat Blueprint, targeting financial resources and technical assistance to support habitat conservation and restoration efforts in these high-priority watersheds including removing passage barriers and restoring unimpeded river herring passage and spawning and rearing habitats.
- Information provided by the Passamaquoddy Tribe, Pleasant Point, on the cultural importance of river herring to the Tribe was incorporated into the Plan.
- Development of a life history-based model to inform the setting of quantitative-supported performance standards for survival and passage of American shad and river herring at hydropower projects is being supported by NMFS.
- Collaboration between NOAA and ASMFC and partners on climate change assessments related to river herring.
- Continued active partnership within the Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership (ACFHP) by ASMFC and NOAA.
- NEFMC and MAFMC have or are considering including river herring research needs into their research planning processes (i.e., MAFMC Collaborative Research Priorities, NEFMC 2017-2022 Research Priorities, MAFMC Comprehensive Five Year (2016-2020) Research Plan) upon the encouragement of NMFS.
- Collaboration with NMFS and partners to: 1) study the long-term benefits of restoring riverine habitat along the Atlantic Coast; and 2) conduct ecosystem research on river herring.
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.