The alewife are back.
The Bronx River Alliance, in collaboration with the parks department, the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection collaborated in early April to stock the Bronx River with 400 alewife, a type of river herring.
“These fish are an ecological and cultural cornerstone for the river and we look forward to a day when the river again runs silver with their spring migrations,” said Maggie Scott Greenfield, NYC Parks Bronx River Administrator and executive director of the Bronx River Alliance.
The parks department’s Bronx commissioner Iris Rodriguez-Rosa called the third annual ‘running of the fish’ on the Bronx River “another opportunity to increase biodiversity and restore ecological value to the river.”
The groups hope that their efforts will help alewife populations recover from the effects of pollution, mismanagement of fisheries and habitat disruption that have reduced their numbers. The river herring “run” or migration upstream to spawn each April happens in early spring.
River herring live in the ocean but spawn in freshwater. Alewife which are native to the northeast, are an important food source for larger fish, birds and other wildlife in the ocean, estuaries and rivers.