2015 River Herring Festivals - A Great Success!

Congratulations to the organizers of the Middleborough and Plymouth Herring Festivals! 

Both events were well attended and were great opportunities for area people and families to celebrate the end of winter and the return of the herring.  At both events I heard volunteers educating people who were excited about the fish, but didn’t quite have their facts straight about where the herring were going, where they were coming from, and what exactly they were doing.  The volunteers were excellent at patiently and enthusiastically answering questions. The Middleboro Gazette reported that 6,595 people attended across the April 11&12 weekend and the estimate for Plymouth attendees was about 1,300 across the April 25&26 weekend.  I attended both and had a great time.  Watching herring while drinking lemonade and eating locally made baked goods was the perfect antidote to the long winter.

-Abby Franklin Archer




"Run Herring Run" Super Hero Comic - Call for Orders

Run Herring Run!

In 2014 the Herring Ponds Watershed Association (HPWA) was awarded a small New England Grassroots Environment Fund grant to create and print a trial run of a super hero comic titled, "Run, Herring, Run". HPWA is an all-volunteer organization in Plymouth that focuses on monitoring, stewardship and protection of a relatively healthy and unobstructed river herring run in a state-designated Area of Critical Environmental Concern.

Last year we printed the graphic storybooks just in time for Plimoth Plantation's first annual Herring Run Festival, and also distributed them at the Southeastern Massachusetts Pine Barrens Alliance "Pine Fest", and in conjunction with various kid activity tables that we hosted through the summer. The publication was popular with both kids and their parents. We'd like to order more for the 2015 herring migration season and invite others to join our print order to get quantity pricing.

The 5 MB print-ready PDF file of the comic is available for viewing or download on our HPWA website, where we freely give copyright permission to non-profit groups for herring education, but it takes the power of numbers to make printing cost-effective.

The key to print pricing is to boost the quantity high enough (20,000+) to justify set-up and running on a web press, reducing the price per copy to about 5-cents. We hope to collectively gather $1000 in commitments to place an order for 20,000 copies, and then divvy up proportionately. We have several groups interested so far. If your group could use 2000 copies ($100 worth) or more to give out at events, let me know quickly. We have $700 (14,000 copies) to go to place the print order. Time is of the essence to print, ship, and distribute to participating organizations for some of the earliest runs, starting soon.

In Plymouth we have about 2500 K-5 students, so HPWA might consider increasing our share of the order to provide every elementary student a copy at school during the herring run season, in April-May. Herring run stewards in other towns might consider the same strategy.

If your group is interested, please contact me at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thank you,
Lee Pulis, VP & Education chair
Herring Ponds Watershed Association


Middleborough Herring Run Festival - April 11&12

Second Annual Herring Run Festival in Middleborough

April 11&12 at Oliver Mill Park  10:00AM to 4:00PM

Watch river herring migrate up the Nemasket River while enjoying a festival of food, music, vendor booths, face painting, a beer garden and more!  Visit educational displays by the local herring commission, Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries and other conservation groups to learn about the herring run, its history, and ongoing conservation efforts.

There is plenty of free parking at the nearby KOA and there will be shuttle buses to the park.

For information call: 508-728-6463
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Highest attendance at an Annual Meeting so far!

Sixty one people attended the fourth annual meeting of the River Herring Network on October 30, 2014 in Plymouth at the Public Library. Participants represented 18 towns, 1 Tribe, 5 state agencies, the federal agency NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, and 5 non-profit organizations. Two representatives of the Massachusetts Bays Program also attended.

Four speakers gave power point presentations on DMF's efforts to monitor herring passage using video, updates on local, state, and federal efforts to manage river herring populations, how otoliths (ear bones) and genetics are being used to determine habitat use, and origin of river herring that are caught as bycatch in the Atlantic Herring fishery, and how to maintain passage for river herring while also preserving habitat features for other species. The meeting also featured a panel discussion with three town herring wardens about stream clearing. Approximately 25 people also participated in a field trip to view fish passage and dam removal projects along Town Brook in Plymouth.

The powerpoint presentations and notes and photos from the meeting are available at the link below.

If you have ideas for activities you would like to see happen in 2015, or would like to join the River Herring Network Steering Committee, please send an email through the "Contact Us" tab on the website.

RHN Field Trip

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