One of the main anchovies is the northern anchovy. The anchovy is found in pelagic zones and are abundant in shallow near-shore areas and estuaries. This anchovy is a broadcast spawner and spawns in batches throughout the year. Anchovies are caught in many different areas during different time periods throughout the year. For example, it is very common to fish for anchovies in off Oregon from June-August.

Anchovies usually feed on plankton either through biting or filter-feeding. Many birds, fish, and mammals eat anchovies. Anchovies usually become mature after about a year and live for about four years.

The population began to increase dramatically in the late 1970’s, but has recently declined slowly. Anchovies for the most part have not been overfished and the population has declined due to natural influences.


The northern anchovy is commercially fished from British Columbia to Mexico and also in San Francisco. Although anchovies provide meals, oil, soluble protein products, and bait there has been little harvesting of anchovies in the past twenty years especially in Oregon.

Due to the decrease of anchovy harvesting there are very few restrictions or regulation set on anchovy fishing. There is no set limit on live bait catch in Oregon, which is a key spot for anchovy fishing.