Threatened Fishes of the world: Alosa alabamae (Jordan and Evermann, 1896) (Clupeidae)

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Biological Sciences


Biological, Environmental, and Earth Sciences


Conservation status: US National Marine Fisheries Service Species of Concern, AFS: Vulnerable; IUCN: Endangered. Identification: Upper jaw median notch, protruding lower jaw, one row tongue teeth, 41–48 rakers on lower anterior gill arch; no dorsal filament. Silver with black spots on lower jaw; greenish-blue dorsally. Females 36–46 cm, males 9–42 cm SL. Distribution: Euryhaline, anadromous, schooling; spawns in medium to large rivers from the Mississippi River drainage to the Suwannee River, Florida (Mettee and O’Neil 2003); extirpated from at least 8 of the 14 native states (Mettee and O’Neil 2003). Abundance: Once commerically harvested, now rare (Mettee and O’Neil 2003); largest remaining population occurs in the Apalachicola River, Florida (Barkuloo et al. 1993). Habitat and ecology: Juveniles are found in rivers for their first 6–8 months, eat fishes and invertebrates. Diurnally, small juveniles use sandbars, then switch to open channels and steep bank habitat; they select cooler temperatures (Mickle 2006). Little is known of their ecology in marine environments. Juveniles enter the Gulf of Mexico from late summer to early winter. Spawning starts primarily at age 2 and live 6 years (Mettee and O’Neil 2003). Reproduction: Broadcast spawn spring/early summer at 18–23°C over coarse sand and gravel in moderate currents; no foraging during spawning (Mills 1972). Arrival time varies by sex and age (Mette and O’Neil 2003), return to sea after spawning (Barkuloo et al. 1993). Some homing and genetic differences among drainages (Bowen 2005). Threats: Dams block spawning access and alter hydrology and substrates (Adams et al. 2000; Mettee and O’Neil 2003); poor water quality, siltation, altered habitat and thermal regimes, dredging, and perhaps bycatch in marine fisheries. Conservation recommendations: Implement effective fish passage; restore hydrologic regimes. Research into the marine phase including migrations, feeding and bycatch; and spawning, rearing, and other habitat needs. Remarks: Allopatric species pair with A. sapidissima.

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Environmental Biology of Fishes





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