Atlantic Coast Diadromous Fish Habitat: A Review of Utilization, Threats, Recommendations for Conservation, and Research Needs

Publication Date



fish habitat, habitat, offshore, American eel, larval stage, spawning

Report number


Publication place

Washington, D.C.


Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission


None. From introduction: This document is the most comprehensive compilation of habitat information to date on Commission-managed diadromous species. The primary focus of this document is on inshore and nearshore habitats along the Atlantic coast for all life stages of the included species, but offshore habitat is also discussed. In contrast with the catadromous American eel, the six anadromous species discussed spawn in fresh or brackish waters and spend a portion of their juvenile/sub-adult life stage in freshwater and/or brackish waters. However, American eel spawn in saltwater; following an oceanic larval stage, they migrate to fresh or brackish waters to grow to maturity. Inland and coastal waters provide critical habitat for spawning, growth, feeding, and in some cases, residential habitat for diadromous fish species. Thus, impacts to these areas are likely to have consequences for species that rely on these areas.

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