Herring Helpers Needed

Historically, nearly every river and stream along the East Coast supported healthy spawning runs of anadromous river herring and alewives. Today, river herring populations are at historic lows, with many runs having declined by as much as 95 percent.

Why the dramatic decline? Many experts think that a combination of factors is to blame, including overharvest by inshore fisheries, the construction of migration-blocking dams, alteration of river flow patterns, water pollution, predation and bycatch in ocean fisheries.

The Herring Alliance is working to restore river herring in several New England watersheds by removing dams, installing fish ladders and improving spawning and nursery habitat. These efforts have succeeded in improving fish passage at many runs over the past decade.

The group is encouraging volunteers to get involved this spring and summer by contacting a local watershed group and participating in their annual herring count and/or river cleanup efforts.

Here’s a short list of watershed associations looking for help:

Warwick, RI – Buckeye Brook Coalition
Herring Count
Trainings: March 25, 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. & March 26, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
Contact Paul at brookeye10@gmail.com

Ipswich, MA – Ipswich River Watershed Association
Herring Count and Water Quality Monitoring
Contact Ryan O’Donnell, rodonnell@ipswichriver.org or sign up online

Kingston, MA – Jones River Watershed Association
Herring count volunteers needed April and May
Contact Peter at (781-585-2322) or peter@jonesriver.org

Norwell, MA -North and South Rivers Watershed Association
Herring Count and River Flow Monitoring
Herring Count: Contact Sara Grady at sara@nsrwa.org or (781-659-8168)
Water Quality Monitoring: Training session on June 8. Email Paula, paula@nsrwa.org
River Cleanup Day: April 30, 10:00 a.m. to Noon. Email Paula paula@nsrwa.org

Byfield, MA – Parker River Clean Water Association
Water Quality Monitoring and Fish Count
Contact parker.river@verizon.net or (978-462-2551). Check for volunteer opportunities.

Litchfield, CT – Rivers Alliance of Connecticut
Event listings for multiple organizations.

Simbury, CT – Farmington River Watershed Association
River and Water Quality Monitoring
Volunteer opportunities

For more volunteer opportunities contact:

The Herring Alliance: Volunteer Locally

Herring Alliance Video:

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