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