Choptank River | WYPR

Choptank River

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

Maryland’s rivers once teemed with a fish called river herring, the generic name for alewife and blueback herring.

A century ago, watermen on the Choptank River caught millions of these fish that live in the ocean, but return to fresh water to spawn in a single year. 

But the population has plummeted, thanks to overfishing, dams that block their paths upstream to spawning grounds and habitat loss.