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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Atlantic Menhaden

Marine Fisheries

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Atlantic menhaden

Atlantic Menhaden

Brevoortia tyrannus

Also known as pogy or fatback, Atlantic menhaden are small, blue-black fish with metallic flanks and a deeply forked tail. They have a prominent dark spot on the shoulder, often followed by two or three irregular rows of smaller spots. They spawn in the ocean then enter the estuaries for food. They swim in large schools and provide an important role in marine ecosystems as a forage fish for larger predators.

Atlantic menhaden is a popular baitfish for numerous species, including spotted seatrout, bluefish, king mackerel, tuna and sharks. Anglers can purchase live menhaden from floating “bait barges” along coastal waterways. Contact a local tackle shop for availability and location.

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

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