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COMMENTARY: Weymouth's herring run puts things into perspective 4-27-16

COMMENTARY: Weymouth's herring run puts things into perspective

Wicked Local Weymouth
By Bradford Randall
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Posted Apr 27, 2016 at 1:12 PM
Updated Apr 28, 2016 at 12:48 PM

WEYMOUTH
Every once in awhile, we witness a sight that reminds us how magnificent the planet we call home truly is. Monday afternoon, I was lucky enough to have one of these 'Aha! moments' in, of all places, Jackson Square.
I didn't know what to expect when I went to visit the Weymouth Herring Run. I'd heard there were fish, I just hoped to be lucky enough to capture a few on video and with my camera. Boy, was I in for a surprise.
The entire brook appeared as if it was made of fish. There were thousands of them, in every corner, in every ladder and in every pool.
Never before had I seen such an explosion of life. The fish kept coming up the brook in columns, slowly swimming their way against an unimaginably strong current. Everywhere you looked, there were more fish entrenched in an ongoing battle against the forces of nature.
If you can believe it, there were so many fish at the herring run that the air actually smelled fishy.
This week, The News reported that 31,000 fish had made the journey through the ladders, 71 ladders in total, on Friday alone. Saturday and Sunday were also reported to be strong showings for the fish and, apparently, the pace kept throughout Monday.
Only the strongest river herring will be able to reach Whitman's Pond, where they will mate before returning to the sea within a few months.
While this journey seems hard, it used to be even harder if you can actually believe it.
Whitman's Pond is 66 feet above sea level, which is the total incline the herring have to complete before reaching their destination. Before development and dams, however, the herring would travel all the way to Great Pond, which has an elevation of 161 feet.
The journey today may still be harder though, despite the shorter run. Water quality issues and climate change has made the river herring, like many other species, vulnerable.
If you truly want to see why your local environment is worth protecting, visit the herring run in Jackson Square within the next few days. Just look down from one of the bridges over Herring Run Brook and you'll see one of thousands of reasons why conservation is worth fighting for.
Follow Weymouth News on Twitter @WeymouthPaper.

From Forum

Herring Public Forum Exemption to Wetland Act for herring protection
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KnightofNi > 29-April-2016

Herring Public Forum River Herring Migration Series at WHOI
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