Plymouth, MA, Herring Run Being Restored

Roughly 150,000 herring will be swimming up Town Brook in Plymouth, Massachusetts, to reach the Billington Sea next spring, according to a release from NOAA. The herring runs of Town Brook, which empties into Plymouth Harbor just 300 feet from Plymouth Rock, were an important resource for the first Americans and the Wampanoag Tribe.

NOAA has been working with the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration and several non-profits to remove barriers and restore the herring that once thrived in Town Brook. The Billington Street Dam was the first to come down in 2002, and since then other dams have been modified or removed.

In spring 2013, NOAA will be working with partners to remove 2 more dams—the Off-Billington Street and Plymco Dams—at a cost of just over $1million.

If the restoration of Town Brook works as expected to help rebuild the herring population, species up the food chain will also benefit. Herring have traditionally been an important food source for cod, haddock, and other commercially valuable groundfish species.

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