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, bluefish, 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 and MassBays National Estuary Program is seeking volunteers from the end of March through the end of May to count herring. The counting will be done seven days a week, six to nine times a day, at seven different locations. These counts will help us continue to monitor trends in our local herring population. We will also be able to verify that herring can now pass dam removal sites on Third Herring Brook, Bound Brook, and Beaver Dam Brook.
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:
- South River at Veteran’s Memorial Park fish ladder in Marshfield
- First Herring Brook at the Old Oaken Bucket fish ladder in Scituate
- Herring Brook at Upper Mill Pond fish ladder in Pembroke
- Third Herring Brook at Tiffany Road (former Tack Factory Dam) and River Street/Broadway
- Bound Brook at Mordecai Lincoln Road in North Scituate (in partnership with Cohasset Center for Student Coastal Research and the Gulf Association)
- Beaver Dam Brook at Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary in Plymouth (Manomet) (in partnership with MassAudubon and Living Observatory)
- Monument River at Great Herring Pond in Bournedale (in partnership with Herring Ponds Watershed Association)
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 four locations on the following dates:
- Friday, March 16 at 6:30pm
- Tuesday, March 20 at 3:00pm
- Wednesday, March 21 at 2:00pm
- Thursday, March 31 at 10:00am
- Sunday, March 11 at 10:00am
- Friday, March 23 at 5:30pm
Great Herring Pond (Sandy Pond Road)
- Sunday, March 10 at 2:00pm
- Sunday, March 18 at 2:00pm
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.