We are just about at the 3/4 mark for our 2024 herring count. We send a HUGE thank you to all of our volunteers for the counting they’ve done so far. With another month to go, we just wanted to share some of what we’ve seen through early May.

Pembroke Herring Run by Stewart Ting Chong.

– Herring Brook in Pembroke: Wow what a run it has been so far! Herring Run Park has been absolutely packed with fish. It’s been decades since we last saw so many fish here. It’s also been great to see so many families and kids coming to check out the migration. This was a part of our natural world that was nearly lost for many years. At our counting location our volunteers have been counting hundreds of fish per 10 minute count. The electronic counter has already recorded more than 420,800 fish going past!

– First Herring Brook in Scituate: We have fish!! Multiple volunteers have recorded fish going up the ladder. And others have reported good size schools below the ladder. There have been many years where no fish were seen here at all.

– South River in Marshfield: The fish are in! Decent size schools have been seen below the ladder. With this dam slated for removal soon, it’s critical to document the pre-removal condition this year. This will be our benchmark for future success.

– Third Herring Brook and Jacobs Pond: No fish… yet. We know that the species of herring in this brook (Blueback Herring) tend to run a little later in the season. So we still have hope. We’ve been working with the Division of Marine Fisheries here to measure flow and evaluate newly opened stretches of the brook. It’s certainly a work in progress. Your persistence and patience to count here is extremely valuable.

– Bound Brook: Like Third Herring Brook, this is a challenging place to see fish. We’re really hoping to see some crossover from the larger runs this year.

We’ve also heard exciting reports coming from Town Brook, Plymouth; Jones River, Kingston; and Herring Run Brook, Weymouth. It looks like 2024 is a good year for fish! The Jones River story is especially exciting as a case study for dam removals leading a major rebound in herring populations. These fish were completely blocked by dams until 2011. You can check out some great footage of the success on their YouTube channel.