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Volunteers sought to clear Weymouth Herring Run in April 3-21-16

Volunteers sought to clear Weymouth Herring Run in April
Participation in the annual cleanup of the Weymouth Herring Run has grown in popularity among residents and community groups since the task began in 1988, according to warden George Loring.

Wicked Local Weymouth
By Ed Baker
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Posted Mar. 21, 2016 at 11:55 AM

WEYMOUTH
Participation in the annual cleanup of the Weymouth Herring Run has grown in popularity among residents and community groups since the task began in 1988, according to warden George Loring.
"Back when I got started there were only two of us," Loring said. "The cleanup was not a big thing back then. Slowly over time we'd get a few more volunteers each year."
Loring said enthusiasm for the cleanup has attracted upwards to 100 people.
"The big problem now is there is not as much to do anymore," Loring said. "We now have to try to find jobs for all the people."
Loring said the herring run cleanup would be held at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 2, rain or shine and volunteers are needed.
"Last year we had to postpone it because we had so much snow," Loring said. "I don't anticipate having to do that this year."
Loring said volunteers should arrive meet at Herring Run Park, at the corner of Broad and Commercial streets, in Lower Jackson Square.
"Newcomb's Breakfast and Lunch will be providing some egg sandwiches," Loring said. "Dunkin Donuts will provide coffee, hot chocolate and donuts. Brady's Package Store will be providing water."
Additional information about volunteering for the cleanup is available by calling 781-749-0189 or emailing Loring at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
Loring said the annual cleanup generally involves removing fallen tree limbs and debris discarded by people who use the channel to dispose various items.
"There is always debris," Loring said. " Kids have thrown stuff in the water. The are shopping carts, and skateboards."
In recent years the debris left in the channel or on the embankment has included car batteries, flat-screen televisions, bicycles, scooters, and kitchen sinks, according to Loring.
Loring said the wardens remove debris on a regular basis throughout the year to make sure the pathway is clear for the alewives to migrate from the ocean to spawn at Whitman's Pond during the spring.
"The cleanup of the herring run started in the 1600's," Loring said. "People were voted in to be the wardens. If you did not accept the warden position you got fined. They had to make sure the fish had passage up to Whitman's Pond."
Loring said the construction of mills along the stream forced settlers to bring the herring up the channel in buckets to the pond.
The Weymouth Herring Run is among the biggest in the state and the alewives migrate from the ocean to Whitman's every spring to mate and lay eggs before returning to the sea a few months later, according to the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries.

Loring said the amount of alewives migrating to Whitman's seems to be increasing each year.
"It seems like we get the fish when the water is consistently around 53 to 55 degrees," Loring said. "They follow the temperature of water. During the summertime they are in Maine and during the winter they are in the waters off the Carolinas."
The alewives begin their journey northward from the mid-Atlantic off the Carolina coast in late March through mid-May, according to the Division of Marine Fisheries.
Loring said the herring have arrived in Middleboro.
"Usually Plymouth will get them next before we do," Loring said.
River herring were a staple food source by Native Americans prior to the arrival of European settlers, according to The Pew Charitable Trusts, a charitable non-profit environmental group.
Loring said the early settlers did not enjoy eating herring.
"But they were used for fertilizer, but I'm sure if you were hungry enough, you'd eat a herring," Loring said.
Email Ed Baker at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow him on Twitter @EdBakerWeymouth.

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