In the spring, anadromous fish (those that live in the ocean as adults but return to freshwater to spawn) swim in large numbers up coastal rivers and streams, called fish runs. Their goal is to reach spawning areas in headwater ponds to lay eggs and create the next generation of fish. By monitoring the fish in these fish runs, we can learn a great deal about migratory fish populations in coastal Massachusetts. Herring are just one of the anadromous fish species found in Massachusetts, and this month, herring monitoring programs are getting up and running for the 2012 season all along the coast.
As the Massachusetts Bays Program’s South Shore regional coordinator, I’ll be setting up volunteer monitors at 3 locations: First Herring Brook in Scituate, Herring Brook in Pembroke, and the South River in Marshfield. Monitoring provides a fun and easy way to get outside and learn about the fish in your local waterways. If you’re interested in helping out, please go to our website and sign up or find out if a watershed association near you is engaging in a similar effort.
The Massachusetts Bays Program (MBP) is one of 28 EPA National Estuary Programs (NEP) distributed along the U.S. coastline and is one of two programs in Massachusetts (our sister NEP is the Buzzards Bay Program). Our program has five regions – Upper North Shore, Salem Sound, Metro Boston, South Shore, and Cape Cod. Each region has a regional coordinator hosted by a regional planning agency or non-profit. As the MBP South Shore regional coordinator, I am hosted by the North and South Rivers Watershed Association (NSRWA), and act as their Watershed Ecologist while also serving as the MBP contact in the region. I support the coastal communities from Cohasset to Plymouth through outreach, research, and monitoring on everything from habitat quality to stormwater pollution. Please visit the MBP and NSRWA websites to learn more.