2013 Annual Meeting Summary

Fifty people attended the third annual meeting of the River Herring Network on October 24, 2013 in Buzzards Bay. Participants represented 19 towns, 2 state agencies (Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) and Division of Fisheries and Wildlife), the federal agency NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, and 5 non-profit organizations. Two representatives of the Massachusetts Bays Program also attended.

Five speakers gave power point presentations on the topics of bycatch of river herring in the Atlantic Herring fishery, updates on local, state and federal efforts to manage river herring populations, the river herring enforcement activities of the MA Environmental Police, and DMF's 2013 efforts to monitor using video counts.

The meeting also featured a panel discussion with members of town herring committees. Five people representing the Middleboro-Lakeville Herring Fisheries Committee, the Westport Fish Commission, the Town River Fisheries Committee of Bridgewater & West Bridgewater and the non-profit organization Alewives Anonymous discussed the origins and operations of their groups and shared their opinions on the challenges and benefits of managing their herring runs.

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

If you have ideas for activities you would like to see happen in 2014, or would like to join the River Herring Network Steering Committee, please send an email through the "Contact Us" tab on the website.

Abby Franklin Archer


Dam removal on the Jones River

In 2011 the Jones River Watershed Association and many partners removed the Wapping Rd dam on the Jones River in Kingston.  Among the many reasons to remove the dam was the desire to restore passage for river herring, eels, and resident species.  The Association just produced a 10 minute video about the dam removal and the video monitoring that was conducted afterwards.  Check it out!


Come to the Annual Meeting! October 24, 2-5PM in Bourne

Massachusetts River Herring Network
3rd Annual Meeting Agenda

Thursday October 24, 2013 2:00PM-5:00PM
Bourne Veteran's Memorial Community Center
239 Main St. Buzzards Bay, MA

2:00PM Welcome & Introductions

2:10 Update on River Herring Management
Brad Chase, Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries

2:40 Environmental Law Enforcement – River Herring and Eel Regulations
Sergeant Matt Bass, Massachusetts Environmental Law Enforcement

3:10 Monitoring Massachusetts Herring Runs with Video
Ben Gahagan & Mike Bednarski, Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries

3:40 BREAK

3:50 Panel Discussion: Managing Herring Runs by Committee
Town Herring Committees have a long history in Massachusetts. Members of the Pembroke Herring Fisheries Commission, Westport Fish Commission, and other current committees will discuss of the origins and operations of their groups, and share their experiences with the challenges and benefits of managing a herring run with the help of a committee.

4:30 Reducing River Herring Bycatch in the Atlantic Herring Trawl Fisheries
Dave Bethoney, Umass Dartmouth School for Marine Science and Technology

4:55 Closing Remarks

5:00 Adjourn

All are invited to stay until 5:30PM for pizza and further conversation.

For a printable agenda please go to:


Public Comment for Herring Amendment 5 this Thursday in Hyannis!

NOAA recently announced its decision to partially approve Amendment 5 to the Atlantic Herring fishery management plan. Although NOAA did approve a series of measures intended to improve management of the fishery, it disapproved crucial components of the amendment that were necessary to achieve better oversight and accountability on the fleet, including:

1) 100% observer coverage for the Category A and B vessels that harvest the majority of the catch
2) A slippage cap that would provide a disincentive against existing dumping practices
3) Dealer reporting requirements to accurately weigh the catch

For those of you that participated in the decade-long community effort to improve management and oversight of this fishery, there will be an opportunity at the upcoming New England Fishery Management Council meeting to voice your concerns and urge Council members to task NOAA with fixing Amendment 5 as soon as possible.

The Council meeting is this Thursday, September 26th, at the Cape Codder Resort (1225 Iyannough Rd) in Hyannis, MA.

There will be an opportunity for public comment at 9:15AM and herring will be discussed at 10:15AM.

Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 508-945-2432 with any questions.