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Herring of Massachusetts

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A variety of herring frequent MA coastal and estuarine waters and can be confusing to identify. River herring (alewife and blueback herring) and American shad are generally seen during spring spawning runs. Menhaden and Atlantic herring may appear in our estuaries during coastal migration in the summer or early fall.

Note: The harvest and possession of river herring (Alewife and Bluebacks) is prohibited in Massachusetts.

 

Alewife

 

 

 

American shad

 

 

 

Atlantic herring

 

 

 

Atlantic menhaden

 

 

 

Blueback herring

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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Conservation Partner Advertisements: The Department of Marine Fisheries allows appropriate advertising in its annual regulation guides in print and online, in order to defray or eliminate expenses to the state, and support enhanced communications with Department of Marine Fisheries Constituents. Through a unique partnership with J.F.Griffin Publishing, LLC & eRegulations.com, ‘Conservation Partners’ have been established that pay for advertising in support of the regulations both in print and online. The Department of Marine Fisheries neither endorses products or services listed or claims made; nor accepts any liability arising from the use of products or services listed. Advertisers interested in the Conservation Partners program should contact J.F.Griffin/eRegulations.com directly at 413-884-1001,
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