Bride Brook, CT, Sees Record Herring Run

Alewife from Bride Brook, photo Nicholas School of the Environment/Duke University.

In 2010, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration replaced culverts on Bride Brook in Connecticut. With the increased flow from the new, larger culvert, herring were able to swim upstream unimpeded for the first time in more than a decade. This year, the number of herring (275,000) returning to Bride Brook was triple that of 2009.

The herring run on Bride Brook is the second largest in the state. In the 1970s, it saw as many as 175,000 fish per year. Now, with tidal flow restored, adult fish have unimpeded access upstream to Bride Lake to spawn, and juveniles can swim downstream to mature in the ocean.

NOAA next plans to install 3 new tide gates on the West River in New Haven. These gates, like the larger culvert at Bride Brook, will allow a more natural flow of water and improve fish passage.

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