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Important North American food fish (Pomolobus, or Alosa, pseudoharengus) of the herring family. The alewife grows to about 1 ft (30 cm). Most populations spend several years along North America's Atlantic coast before ascending freshwater streams to spawn each spring in ponds or sluggish rivers.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on alewife, visit Britannica.com.