Sea Run Brook Trout Tallied on MA River
October 5, 2017
On September 12, ecologist Sara Grady joined Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife Southeast District Fisheries Manager Steve Hurley and his team to electrofish for eastern brook trout and other fish species in the Third Herring Brook watershed. They were also joined by Geoffrey Day from the Sea Run Brook Trout Coalition (https://www.searunbrookie.org/). Electrofishing works by submerging a battery-powered electrode into the water that generates a current. This current temporarily stuns fish, allowing them to be scooped up with a net and transferred to a nearby bucket of water for measurement and tagging, after which they are released.
The fish are tagged by injecting a small (12mm) transponder under their skin. These transponders act like an EZPass, and can be detected by antennas that are being set up at the Mill Pond and Tack Factory dam removal sites and at River Street/Broadway. This way we can know the movement of these fish and also track their growth if the same fish is recaptured in another year.
Most of the eastern brook trout that were found and tagged were in cold water tributaries to the Third Herring Brook, where they find refuge during the summer. However, one trout was found in the mainstem of the brook, in the middle of the former Tack Factory pond area! As temperatures cool down, we hope to see more trout move into the mainstem and possibly out to the North River to become “salter” brook trout, which are able to live in the estuary.