Volunteers Needed For Herring Count

Did you know there is a fish that lives in the ocean and swims all the way to the Mystic Lakes to lay its eggs each spring?

The Mystic River Watershed Association is seeking volunteers from April through June to count river herring as part of the sixth year of the Herring Monitoring Program. Counting will take place seven days per week, twelve times daily, at the fish ladder at the DCR Upper Mystic Lake dam in Medford.

Volunteers should commit to at least one 10-minute count between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. each week. No previous experience or knowledge is required and training is provided. Monitors must be able to swim and be at least 18 years old to participate. Youth aged 12 to 17 may assist under the direct supervision of a guardian.

A volunteer training session is scheduled for Saturday, March 18th, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. to noon at the Medford Boat Club, 1001 Mystic Valley Parkway, Medford, MA.  Additional trainings will be scheduled as needed. Register for the training (required) and see more information.

The goal of the Herring Monitoring Program is to collect valuable data about herring populations as they make their way up the Mystic River to reach one of their native spawning grounds. The data is used to estimate the total herring run size in the Mystic River and is shared with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries to help inform trends across the State. In 2016, herring monitors observed a record setting 62,562 herring across 81 days and 786 counting slots. The total estimated Mystic River herring run for 2016 was 448,060 +/- 48,113. This estimate represents another strong migration!

The Mystic River Watershed Association would like to thank the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, Medford Boat Club and of course all the monitors for supporting this program.