Fish

Looking for River Herring Habitat

Looking for River Herring Habitat

A century ago, the Ipswich River and its tributaries supported large spawning runs of migratory fish including river herring, two closely related species (alewife and blueback herring) that numbered in the millions as they entered the watershed in the spring. Those ecologically and culturally important fish runs have diminished to total annual returns of only a few hundred fish (both…
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It’s Smelt Season!

It’s Smelt Season!

Rainbow Smelt, Osmerus mordax, are now making their annual spawning migrations into our coastal river and streams. Like their better-known cousins such as salmon, river herring and shad, smelt are anadromous spending most of their lives in salt water but ascending into fresh water to lay their eggs. Smelt are unique in that they are a cold water species and…
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Nor’East Chapter Trout Unlimited Repairs Fish Ladder

Nor’East Chapter Trout Unlimited Repairs Fish Ladder

The Willowdale Dam fishway is now ready for herring, eels, trout, suckers and lamprey! On Sunday, May 5th volunteer from the Trout Unlimited Northeast Chapter helped repair the fish ladder at Greenbelt's Willowdale Mill Reservation. The work is a great example of positive teamwork to help the river. Old dams in local streams and rivers are big obstacles to river life, especially…
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Glass eels in the news

Glass eels in the news

The American eel is a mysterious, extraordinarily interesting, ecologically important and commercially valuable fish (yes fish) that very few people know or think much about. They, like many of our local fish species, appear to be in some serious trouble, but yet seem to attract little attention. While fishing for juvenile "glass eels" is closed in Massachusetts, poachers have continued…
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Herring Count Update

The fishcount is going very well. As of Sunday April 28th, volunteers have performed over 200 individual, ten minute counts and we are not quite half-way through the count season that began April 1. Over the last few years, we had just over 300 counts for the entire season! At this pace we are on track to set a record…
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Counting Herring in the Ipswich River

If you follow ocean fisheries related news in New England, you know about herring and their decline. But how are herring connected to the Ipswich River? Well, there are actually two classes of herring: Atlantic herring that live exclusively in the ocean and river herring (including Blueback herring and alewife) that swim up rivers to spawn in late spring. In…
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The Fish in Your River

Imagine the Ipswich River prior to development and the construction of dams; the river and its tributaries were free flowing, with abundant riffles and pools. The river supported diadromous (migrating between fresh and salt water) fish runs numbering in the millions. The river supported such fish as Alewife and Blueback herring, Rainbow smelt, Atlantic salmon, Striped bass, American shad, Sea…
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The Water Closet, Feb 8, 2013

FISH AND MEN    An old Closeteer and his wife were given a beautiful gift last week. A half-dozen yellow perch shone their wonderful gold and pink-oranges in waning afternoon light. An ice fishing friend brought them directly from their home in Putnamville Reservoir, Danvers. The grateful recipients quickly cleaned the fish with some sadness. Cleaned is a blasphemous verb…
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Herring Migration Documentaries

Shervin A. Arya, an independent filmmaker focused on quality science-based films, is now creating three in-depth films exploring the natural history, latest science and conservation topics surrounding the River Herring migration in eastern Massachusetts. The series presents a comprehensive picture of the natural history of the migration event, highlighting their dilemma and providing insights into the future of the species.…
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The Water Closet, Jan 11, 2013

WATERY STAIRWAY TO THE SEA      A major stream Middletonites call Emerson Brook slowly makes it way from North Reading and North Andover through Middleton to the Ipswich River. Human and beaver dams have made it a stairway with up to mile wide treads and several-foot high risers. When not frozen descent/ascent reminds us of canal locks. The Indians prized…
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