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Posts Tagged ‘access to spawning habitat’

I’ve never managed to catch the herring run, but I’d like to see it with grandchildren sometime. The celebration for the Mystic River herring migration offers all sorts of extras, as I learned from the newsletter of the Mystic River Watershed Association, or MyRWA. (I’ve been receiving the newsletter since John’s stint on the board some years back.)

“The annual Herring Run and Paddle includes a 5K run/walk race, three paddling races (3, 9, and 12 miles), educational booths, children’s activities, and more. All events are held at the [Department of Conservation and Recreation] Blessing of the Bay Boathouse in Somerville.”

MyRWA reports, “The Mystic River Watershed supports two species of herring: Alewife (Alosa psuedoharenous) and Blueback Herring (Alosa aestivalis). Both species, collectively called river herring, are anadromous. This means they spend most of their lives at sea and return to rivers—like the Mystic—to spawn, or lay their eggs.

“In colonial times and earlier, herring in the Mystic River were extraordinarily abundant.  But from the 1900’s until today a much smaller population of river herring is present. …

“According to the Herring Alliance some river herring runs on the Atlantic Coast have declined by 95% or more over the past 20 years. In 2006 the National Marine Fisheries Service designated river herring as a species of concern. Population decline may be associated with numerous factors including by-catch [catching them by accident when fishing for something else], habitat loss and degradation, water pollution, poaching, access to spawning habitat, and natural predators.”

Read more here. And remind me next May that I want to visit a fish ladder.

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