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Adopt A Herring - Editorial 3/19/15

Adopt A Herring - Editorial

Posted: Thursday, March 19, 2015 5:49 pm
ENTERPRISE STAFF

Residents can 'adopt' a herring to help track the populations, where they go after spawning and where exactly they spawn.

The Coonamessett River Trust and the town's office of marine and environmental services will tag up to 400 herring coming up the Coonamessett River system this spring. The tags are electronic and will allow the trust and the herring warden to learn a lot about where the herring go once they pass the catch basin below Lower Bog.
The trust has been counting herring on the river for over a decade and has refined its methods over the years so that it now has a pretty good idea how many herring enter the system. But what the fish do after that is somewhat of a mystery.

Two species of river herring come up the river—alewives and blueback herring. What percentage of the total run each species represents is not known. The tagging program will shed some light on that.
It may be important information; blueback herring spawn in the river while alewives spawn in the ponds. Further, it is not known which of the three ponds in the system, Flax, Coonamessett and Pond 14, are most important to the spawning alewives. Electronic counters will be set up at the entrance to the three ponds, which will reveal the percentage of the alewife population that spawn in them.
That information will be very useful in determining what sections of the river system need protection and attention.
The project will also provide information about how long the herring stay in the river system.

Residents can help support the project by adopting a herring for $10 or adopting three for $25. The trust will tell each adopter where the fish went and when it returned to the ocean. Adoptions can be arranged by e-mailing Charles Cooper at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Lou Turner at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The project is not tied to other tagging projects in the state, so it will not likely contribute to the broader effort of reviving the populations of river herring. But it is a worthy local effort that will likely prove valuable.

From Forum

Herring Public Forum Exemption to Wetland Act for herring protection
DaveC > 25-July-2016

Herring Run Counts 2015 Herring Counts
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Herring Management Town Brook alewives get a free ride to Billington Sea
KnightofNi > 29-April-2016

Herring Public Forum River Herring Migration Series at WHOI
KnightofNi > 30-April-2015

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