Alewives and blueback herring (collectively known as ¨Driver herring¡¬) were once highly abundant in coastal waters, rivers and streams of the eastern United States. From 1950 through 1970, total commercial landings of alewives and blueback herring in Atlantic coastal states averaged more than 50 million pounds per year. Most Atlantic coastal streams and rivers were inhabited by one or both of the species. In the larger rivers, spawning runs could reach well into the millions of individual fish according to one historical account, three quarters of a billion river herring were landed from the Potomac River in 1832.
Click the link below for a PDF of the full text of the Petition and NRDC Staff Blog on the Petition and River Herring