There are two species of sand lance recognized as living on the east coast of North America: an inshore and offshore species. They have been spawning along their range since November and spawning will continue through March.
In recent years this has become a significant biomass component on the Atlantic coast of North Atlantic. Cod, haddock, striped bass and many other important commercial and recreational fish depend on these snakelike fish, commonly referred to as sand eels. They also help sustain whales and sea birds.