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Clupeidae
 

Brevoortia tyrannus

Atlantic Menhaden (poagies) in the Merrimack!

A bunch of Menhaden or poagies showing up in the Merrimack estuary. These up to 15 inch filter feeders that are in the river feeding on phytoplankton and zooplankton are not anadromous like many of their relatives in the herring family. They are just enjoying the good life up in the river, that is until a big bass or bluefish spots them!! Another critter that feeds on the menhaden is a large crustacean parasite that attatches to the mouth of these fish giving menhaden the nickname of "bugfish" in many parts of their range which is from northern Florida up to Nova Scotia. Personally I just love seeing the diversity of fish that we have up here on the North Shore!! If you want to check these poagies out, head out of the river with a couple hours of outgoing left on the tide and start scanning for surface activity between the American Yacht Club and buoy 13.

(Click to enlarge)


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