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Volunteers needed to prepare Weymouth Herring Run for alewives 3-9-17

Volunteers needed to prepare Weymouth Herring Run for alewives

Wicked Local Weymouth

Old Man Winter has not caused many tree branches or twigs to fall into the Weymouth Herring Run this season, but there is a significant amount of debris in the channel and Weymouth Herring Wardens are inviting volunteers to help remove and make it easier for the alewives to get to Whitman's Pond during the annual migration.

By Ed Baker
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Old Man Winter has not caused many tree branches or twigs to fall into the Weymouth Herring Run this season, but there is a significant amount of debris in the channel herring wardens are inviting volunteers to help make it easier for the alewives to get to Whitman's Pond during the annual migration.

"There is always something to do," said Weymouth Herring Warden George Loring. "I don't think we have ever had a time when there was nothing to do. We do have to replace the baffles. They are part of the wooden ladder system for the fish to get to Whitman's Pond."

Loring said the cleanup of the channel that flows through lower Jackson Square gets underway at 8 a.m., April 1.

The Weymouth Herring Run is among the biggest in the Bay State and the herring migrate from the ocean to Whitman's every spring to mate and lay eggs before returning to the Atlantic a few months later.

Loring said river herring generally began migrating from the ocean and through the Back River to Whitman's in late April, but said it depends on the sea warmth.

"The average date is April 22 or April 23," he said. They can come earlier."

Loring said the annual cleanup of the herring run by volunteers and wardens has happened since 1988.

"The first year we got started it was terrible with the amount of debris that we would find," he said. "We would find car batteries and kitchen sinks."

Loring said herring warden John Smith and DPW employees previously completed a cleanup of the channel during early spring before volunteers were sought.

"They saw it as a good way to get people involved and said, 'let us see what we can do.'"

Loring said the annual cleanup has about 100 volunteers who help remove debris, fix the wooden fish ladders and remove graffiti from the channel's concrete walls.

"Every year it seems to be getting a little easier," he said. "There is less damage and less repairs. We are getting stuff done that I thought would never get done."

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Loring said weather conditions often determine how many volunteers take part in the cleanup.

"On a really good day we don't get as many people because some of them are out and about," he said. "If the weather is not really nice and not really bad, that is when we get most the people to show up."

Loring said public awareness about the herring run, now considered the state's largest migratory channel, has encouraged participation in the cleanup over the years.

"We have folks that come from Hingham, Quincy and as far away as Randolph."

Loring said volunteers should wear warm clothing and dress properly for the cleanup conditions.

"If they want to bring their own saws and rakes they are welcome," he said.

Volunteers are requested to meet at Herring Run Park, which is near the corner of Broad and Commercial streets in Lower Jackson Square.

"Dunkin Donuts will be giving us coffee, hot chocolate, and donuts," Loring said.

"Newcomb's Breakfast and Lunch will be bringing egg sandwiches. That usually takes care of everybody. We have not seen a need to ask for food donations, but donations of food are always welcome."

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. .

Follow Ed Baker on Twitter @EdBakerWeymouth.

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