The release of 400 alewife herring marks a significant milestone in a broader river cleanup effort.
Wriggling through this transfer tube are 400 alewife herring. The Bronx River was once called an “open sewer.” But an extensive restoration effort has made the herring’s return possible. Alewives begin life in freshwater before swimming out to sea to mature. But they return to their freshwater birthplace to spawn. Dams on the Bronx obstruct returning fish. But now fish can summit the first dam thanks to a recently-installed fish ladder. Conservationists hope their efforts will make this urban river a major alewife home.