Herring populations have been declining in coastal streams for a variety of factors including an inability to get to their spawning grounds due to dams or non-operational fish ladders. The herring are important because they are a crucial link in the coastal food chain. They are a source of food for striped bass, blue fish, osprey, herons and other coastal species. This study will help evaluate the health of our herring populations and identify problems that impede their ability to reach the upper reaches of the rivers and tributaries to spawn.
To help combat these problems, the North and South Rivers Watershed Association is seeking volunteers from the end of March through the end of May to count herring. The counting will be done 7 days a week, six to nine times a day, at five different locations. These counts will help us continue to monitor trends in our local herring population. At the Third Herring Brook sites, we will also be able to verify that herring can now pass both dam removal sites (Tack Factory and Mill Pond).
Volunteers are needed that can commit to doing 10 minute counts, ideally several times a week, during a specific time period, at one of the sites. The sites are the South River at Veteran’s Memorial Park fish ladder in Marshfield, the First Herring Brook at the Old Oaken Bucket fish ladder in Scituate, the Herring Brook at Upper Mill Pond fish ladder in Pembroke and two sites on the Third Herring Brook – the former Mill Pond Dam site near the YMCA, and River Street/Broadway. The time slots will be between 7 am and 7 pm.
Mandatory training sessions for new volunteers (volunteers will only need to attend one) will be held at the NSRWA office, 214 South Street, Norwell, on the following dates:
- Thursday 3/2, 6:30pm
- Tuesday 3/7, 4pm
- Thursday 3/9, 4pm
- Tuesday 3/21, 6:30pm
- Friday 3/24, 10am
- Thursday 3/30, 3pm
- Friday 3/31, 10am
- More training sessions will be scheduled in early April
To get involved (even if you don’t need training this year) please sign up here.
Please register for training at least 24 hours in advance.