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


4th Annual River Herring Network Meeting - October 30th

The Massachusetts River Herring Network invites herring wardens, herring counters, and herring enthusiasts to the

4th Annual Meeting
Thursday, October 30th, 11 am - 4pm
at the Plymouth Public Library on 132 South St. in Plymouth.

This year the meeting includes a field trip to view completed and active fish passage construction projects at Town River in Plymouth.

Come meet your fellow herring wardens and volunteers and share your knowledge!

Please RSVP to Abigail Archer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

11:00AM Welcome & Introductions

11:10AM Update on River Herring Management Issues
Brad Chase, Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries

11:30AM Announcements

11:40 What We Are Learning from River Herring Otoliths and Genetics
Sara Turner, Postdoctoral Associate, NOAA Fisheries Service

Pizza Lunch Break

12:25 MA DMF River Herring Video Counting Project
Mike Bednarski, Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries

12:45PM Panel Discussion: Run Maintenance & Vegetation Clearing

Moderator: John Sheppard, MA Division of Marine Fisheries
Heinz Proft, Town of Harwich Herring Warden
Amy Croteau & Martin Wunderly, Town of Barnstable Natural Resources Dept
Carl Pawlowski, Fore River Watershed Association (Quincy/Braintree/Weymouth)
Brad Chase, MA Division of Marine Fisheries

1:25 Stream Vegetation & River Herring Russ Cohen, Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration

1:50 Town Brook Field Trip Orientation
David Gould, Town of Plymouth Marine & Environmental Affairs Dept
Eric Hutchins, NOAA Office of Habitat Restoration

2:10 Tour of Town Brook Projects - Meet at Jenney Grist Mill Parking (Spring Lane)

3:40 End Field Trip back at Jenney Grist Mill Parking Area


NOAA Fisheries Survey of River Herring Harvesters

NOAA Fisheries is looking for help with getting in touch with people who used to harvest river herring in Massachusetts. They are conducting a phone survey of individuals from Maine to North Carolina who harvested river herring (alewives and blueback herring) commercially, recreationally, or for personal use at some point in their lifetime.

The purpose of the survey is to document first-hand observations of changes in river herring abundance, run timing, distribution, species composition, and fish size as well as to assess harvesters' perceptions of the greatest threats to these species and how to best address those threats. NOAA recognizes that harvesters have detailed knowledge of the runs in their local areas and hopes to gain a better understanding of river herring populations coast-wide by documenting some of this local knowledge.

The survey is being carried out by Dan Kircheis (dan.kircheis AT, 207-866-7320) and Julia Beaty (julia.beaty AT, 207-866-7262).

At this time for this particular study they are looking for people who have HARVESTED herring – not people who have managed the harvest. If you think you could put Dan & Julia in touch with anyone that used to harvest river herring in your town before the moratorium, please give them a call or email them.

Julia will attend the October 30th River Herring Network annual meeting and can explain more about the survey then, but she is hoping to have the interviews well underway by that point. So if you think you can help – please contact Julia or Dan as soon as possible.

Abby Franklin Archer

September 9, 2014


We have a date! Thursday October 30th in Plymouth

We have a date! The fourth annual River Herring Network meeting will take place on Thursday, October 30 at the Plymouth Public Library on 132 South St. Snacks, drinks, and a pizza lunch will be provided. The meeting includes a field trip to nearby Town Brook to view the ongoing dam removal work & learn about the fish passage work the Town of Plymouth and partners have been working on over the past few years.

An agenda with speakers, topics, and meeting and field trip times will be out soon.

If you haven't provided your input yet on speakers and topics – there's still time! The survey will remain open until September 2.

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you!

The River Herring Network Steering Committee

Friday, August 29, 2014

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