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Art by Barry Kent MacKay
The Alewife is a herring-like fish that usually grows to a length of about six to twelve inches. Originally a marine species, sometime around the end of the 19th century or the beginning of the 20th century they entered the Great Lakes. Females usually lay from around fifty thousand to a hundred thousand eggs, so in the absence of many of the natural predators of the North Atlantic, they proliferated in the Great Lakes. But they are sensitive to water temperature and when I was a child, in the 1950s and 60s, we used to see huge die-offs of them, with millions of dead and dying fish washed up along the shorelines.
Copyright © Barry Kent MacKay
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