Alewife Monitoring Season Begins

Searching for Alewives in East End Streams

The lowly alewife
The lowly alewife is really something special.

The lowly alewife, a member of the herring family, is a critical fish to our marine ecosystem and is prey to many of the local fish that we eat.

Every spring, volunteers from throughout Long Island take to the woods near ponds and streams to document the annual trips taken by alewives as they swim upstream to spawn.

Here’s a trip down alewife monitoring memory lane we undertook at our sister publication, the East End Beacon, way back in 2014.

This coming Thursday, March 10, volunteers will meet at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County’s Riverhead headquarters at 423 Griffing Avenue for an annual trainingin becoming an alewife monitor.

The session, organized by the Long Island Sound Study, the Peconic Estuary Program, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and Seatuck Environmental Association, begins at 6 p.m.

Anyone can register at the Facebook event page or contact Peconic Estuary Program Education and Outreach Coordinator Sherryll Jones at to RSVP or for more information.

Beth Young

Beth Young built her first boat out of driftwood tied together with phragmites behind her family’s apartment above the old Mill Creek Inn in Southold. Nowadays, she spends most of her time kayaking, learning about shellfish, writing newspaper stories, trying to sail a Sunfish, and watching the way the bay changes from day to day. You can send her a message at

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