Text Size: A  A  A

Bay Anchovy

Anchoa mitchilli

The bay anchovy is a small, translucent fish with a silvery body. (Samford University)
{photos} {photo} {title} - {description} {/photo} {/photos}
The bay anchovy is a small, translucent fish with a silvery body. (Samford University)

The bay anchovy is a small, translucent fish that lives in schools throughout the Chesapeake Bay. It is the most abundant fish in the Bay.

Appearance:

  • Slender, silvery-green, translucent body
  • Silver stripe along the sides
  • Large mouth
  • Single dorsal fin on the back
  • Forked tail fin
  • Grows to 4 inches long

Habitat:

  • Common in the Chesapeake Bay’s shallows during warmer months
  • Moves to deep waters in winter
  • Lives in schools

Range:

  • Abundant year-round throughout the Bay and the lower reaches of rivers

Feeding:

  • Feeds mostly on zooplankton, such as fish larvae

Predators:

  • A critically important food source for larger predators such as bluefish, weakfish and striped bass

Reproduction and Life Cycle:

  • Spawns in May-September, with a peak in July
  • Life span is believed to be longer than one year

Other Facts:

  • The most abundant and commonly found fish in the Chesapeake Bay

Sources and Additional Information:

  • Fishes of Chesapeake Bay by Edward O. Murdy, Ray S. Birdsong and John A. Musick
  • Life in the Chesapeake Bay by Alice Jane Lippson and Robert L. Lippson
  • Chesapeake Bay: Nature of the Estuary, A Field Guide by Christopher P. White
  • Bay Anchovy – Chesapeake Bay Ecological Foundation
  • Anchoa mitchilli – Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce



Click tabs to swap between type and habitat.

410 Severn Avenue / Suite 112
Annapolis, Maryland 21403
Tel: (800) YOUR-BAY / Fax: (410) 267-5777
Directions to the Bay Program Office
Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
©2012 Chesapeake Bay Program | All Rights Reserved