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Trust Will Demonstrate Herring Tagging Project 4-29-16

Trust Will Demonstrate Herring Tagging Project
Falmouth Enterprise
Apr 29, 2016

The public is invited to watch a demonstration of the Coonamessett River Trust's river herring pit-tagging project on Sunday, May 1, between 3 and 5 PM. The event will take place off of John Parker Road in East Falmouth at the kiosk area of the Lower Bog. The Trust is working in conjunction with the Office of Marine and Environmental Services on this project.

The event is part of the World Fish Migration Day, an effort to bring global attention to the need for restored river connections for migrating fish to create healthier fish stocks and more productive rivers. The focus is to bring worldwide awareness of the importance of freshwater migratory fish and open rivers for the general public, especially students and their teachers, resource managers and engineers, and commercial and recreational anglers, as well as those who influence public policy that affect rivers.

This is the second year that the trust has inserted rice-sized tags into the migrating herring before they make their way up the river. As the fish swim past antennas placed at strategic places on the river, their passage is registered. The study will help answer several questions about the behavior of the herring in the Coonamessett River. When do they like to swim up the river? Do they stop at Pond 14 or take a right turn into the Flax Pond system to spawn? How long do they take to reach Coonamessett Pond? When do they return back to the sea? The answers to these questions and many others, will assist the Town of Falmouth in developing a restoration plan for the river and help MES Deputy Director R. Charles Martinsen identify and make fish passage improvements.

The Coonamessett River once contained some of the largest populations of anadromous fish in southeast Massachusetts: Alewife and blueback herring, American eel, white perch, and brook trout. These fish live in both fresh and salt water and return to spawn in the river where they were born. The trust is hopeful that this project will reduce fish mortality and increase spawning success to help return these fish to their historic populations. The trust found that already seven tagged fish from last year have returned to the river.

The public can participate in this effort by adopting a fish ($12 each; 3 for $30; 6 for $50; 9 for $75; and 12 for $100). Donors can name their fish, and follow their progress up the river on a new trust web site https://jonesaw4.shinyapps.io/Coon_Fish_Donors_2016/. The purchase of this "adoption fee" helps offset some of the costs of this project and it is tax deductible.

Those interested in adopting one or more fish may contact Charles Cooper at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at the trust Facebook site.

The Coonamessett River Trust is an organization dedicated to the betterment of the Coonamessett River.

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