Hudanich family counting herring photo by Trillium Studios.

For the past two years volunteer herring counters all over the state saw extremely low numbers of fish returning to our local streams, and multiple explanations for the precipitous drop have been offered, including a reverberating impact of drought. This spring, it is more critical than ever to ensure that we collect the best data that we can to be able to truly measure what we hope will be a resurgence of herring numbers. Your help is needed to count herring at one of six sites throughout the watershed – it only takes ten minutes! You will choose one of three four-hour timeblocks (7am-11am, 11am-3pm, and 3pm-7pm) and count any ten minutes within those four hours. You can sign up for multiple times and multiple sites according to your schedule. Counts start on March 25th in Pembroke and April 1st at all other locations and continue until May 31st at all locations except the South River (June 15th or slightly earlier).

Sign up to count at one or more sites here! We will contact you to schedule your times.

  • Bound Brook, North Scituate – site of a 2017 dam removal, herring have only just started to return in small numbers.
  • First Herring Brook, Scituate – with flows controlled by the Town of Scituate, this site has low numbers but is crucial for informing upstream restoration.
  • Jacobs Pond, Third Herring Brook, Norwell/Hanover – with all the dams downstream removed, we are hoping to install a fish ladder and need to know if there are fish making it all the way upstream.
  • Tack Factory, Third Herring Brook, Norwell/Hanover – herring were able to pass this site starting in 2017 after the dam removal, and were increasing in number each year until 2021.
  • South River, Marshfield – site of future fish passage restoration and the first of multiple project sites on the South River
  • Herring Brook, Pembroke – historically the highest population of herring in the watershed, it is a crucial site for gathering data to understand the decline.
Beneath the Surface, Pembroke by Sean Maiorano

We are still accepting herring counters all April and May – just sign up at

You can also watch a previous training, which is a great way to refresh your memory about the count procedure!

Please join us in collecting important data that helps inform restoration in our watershed and helps us understand herring populations locally and regionally.