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Massachusetts River Herring Network: It Counts on Cape Cod.

Massachusetts River Herring Network logo

The Massachusetts River Herring Network (MA RHN) aims to increase the populations of alewife and blueback herring in Massachusetts waters and concentrates on three main activities:

  1. Facilitating communication among herring wardens, fish biologists, academics, and enthusiasts.
  2. Supporting herring wardens in their role as active participants in fisheries management processes.
  3. Documenting and communicating the natural and cultural history of herring runs for the people of Massachusetts.
Field trip to Pilgrim Lake to see the new fish ladder and juvenile river herring moving downstream.

Abigail Archer, the Fisheries & Aquaculture Specialist with Cooperative Extension’s Marine Team, coordinates the River Herring Network. The MA RHN annual meeting, held at Orleans Town Hall on November 1st, brought together over eighty participants, including river herring wardens, town committee members, volunteers, state agency staff, and environmental organization representatives.

The meeting featured presentations from various organizations, including the MA Division of Marine Fisheries, the Office of Environmental Law Enforcement, the Association to Preserve Cape Cod, WHOI Sea Grant, and representatives from the Town of Orleans. Engaging discussions and questions arose from these presentations. A field trip to Pilgrim Lake provided participants with a firsthand view of juvenile river herring moving downstream.

The meeting, co-sponsored by the Orleans Marine and Fresh Water Quality Committee, and the Orleans Shellfish & Waterways Improvement Committee, was recorded and is accessible through the Town of Orleans. Click here to access the recorded meeting.

If you would like to get involved with the citizen science project to count river herring, click here for the Association to Preserve Cape Cod website, fill out their online volunteering form and check the box that says, “Herring Counting”. To learn more about the Massachusetts River Herring Network click here to visit our website.