Federal regulators say a plan to extend greater conservation protections to river herring is not necessary at this time.
The New England Fishery Management Council recently considered a plan to bring river herring and shad under a federal management plan that controls the fishing of Atlantic herring. The council rejected the idea on Thursday. It would have allowed the council to develop rules about how, when and where river herring and shad can be fished, and how much can be taken.
Fishery analyst Lori Steele says river herring are "considered to be depleted." The fish occur from Canada to Florida and are used for bait and food, and are also a key piece of the food web. The fishery is currently managed by states and an interstate council.