Seeking Herring Monitors at Horn Pond and Mystic Lakes

Photo credit: David Mussina

Each spring over 1/2 million river herring migrate from the ocean up the Mystic River to the Mystic Lakes and to Horn Pond. If lined up back-to-back, this would measure up to 100 miles of fish! They can make it up to Horn Pond thanks to fish ladders installed at the Mystic Lakes and Center Falls dams.

The more we know about the river herring the better equipped we are to advocate for a clean and healthy Mystic River, and for this unique species and the wildlife it supports (you can thank the river herring for the return of the Bald Eagles to the Mystic Lakes--they're a great food source for eagles). You are invited to participate in this wildlife migration by monitoring the herring. Some basics about the program:

  • What will you be doing? Counting fish as they pass through the Mystic Lakes fish ladder OR counting fish as they swim up the spillway at Horn Pond

  • Where does monitoring take place? You can monitor at Mystic Lakes Dam in Medford or Horn Pond in Woburn. We really need more monitors at Horn Pond.

  • When does monitoring occur? The monitoring season is April-June. Choose a shift (or two) that works with your schedule and monitor once a week during the season--for 10 minutes during your selected hour. If you can't attend a week we will find a substitute.

  • How do I become a monitor? Complete the registration form below and attend a training to learn the process. Trainings—Mystic Lakes Dam, March 16th. Horn Pond, April 6th. If you can't attend the training there will be a makeup session.


  • There are two separate sites this year—Upper Mystic Lake (as in past years) and Horn Pond. You may select a time slot for one or both sites.   

  • Only available time slots will be visible. They are available first-come, first-serve.  

  • The form limits your response to one shift at each site. If you would like another shift please reach out.

  • You will notice a question for "password." Please create a password of your choosing. This will be for a new phone app for the monitoring program that we will discuss at the training. 

  • Please verify that you have selected the correct location and time slot before submitting.

  • You will receive a confirmation email with your response after submitting. If the time slot is empty it means that someone else chose the same time and submitted first. Please return to the form and select an alternate time. 

Happy monitoring!