Paul Earnshaw of the Buckeye Brook Association filed the following report on the 2013 herring run numbers in the brook, which flows into Narragansett Bay in the town of Warwick, Rhode Island:

Buckeye Brook’s herring run was about the strangest thing I have seen in our 11 years of counting. The first fish were counted on March 31. This was unusually late, but considering the cooler than usual spring, we were not too surprised. The water temperature was running about 6 degrees Celsius. It has historically been about 12 when fish are first observed.

After only a few counts taken, first 16, then 186 and 17, there was nothing for a week. Then only a few were seen for about a month. Single digits; however, mostly 0 each day.

Finally on May 8 everything changed. Triple digits like 231, 269, and 170 were recorded almost every time one of 27 volunteer counters went to do work. At this time the temperature had risen to 11-20 degrees on average from morning until nightfall. We saw fish all day long for a couple of days. This lasted until about May 12 when it appears that the run was over. The preliminary count for the brook this year is 45,000. Phil Edwards of R.I. Fish and Game says that all of the other runs in the state were in ratio about the same in comparison to last year. This means all were strong, but less than previously recorded. This year was the 3rd highest number recorded for the mighty Buckeye.

I was really hoping to see over 100,000 this year, having had 2 years previously with numbers such as 54,500 & last year 90,800. However, this year was healthy, but it should be so much better. We observed bigger breeders than in the past; many in the 12″ range. Last year there were many only in the 5″ range, which has never been observed in past years.


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