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Family: Clupeidae

Herrings make up a large family of near-shore marine fish. Most species, including anadromous fish, some freshwater species and even relatively small ones, are commercially important. These species have no lateral line. They have easily shed, shiny scales. They usually have a sawbelly, which are modified scales along their venter that resemble in appearance teeth on a saw.

The family is global. Freshwater and anadromous species are found in North and South America, Africa and Australia. Five inland species are found in New York lakes and streams. One is freshwater only, the other four are anadromous. Several other species appear in New York's rivers as strays from nearby marine populations. All five species are lake or large river forms. All are native to at least part of the state. However, modern distributions of several species include successfully introduced populations.

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