Calling All Citizen Scientists! Help Count Herring in the Mystic—And Ask Me Anything About Fish
Become a Citizen Scientist!
A spectacular migration occurs each spring in the Mystic River and moves through the heart of greater Boston—invisible to most people. More than 750,000 river herring from the Atlantic Ocean return to the river where they were born, to spawn. In the past few years, something remarkable has happened. The population of herring that spawn in the Mystic River has more than tripled since 2012.
This remarkable restoration success story is the result of improved fish passage at the Mystic Lakes Dam in 2012 and at the Center Falls Dam in 2018, resulting in 200+ acres in expanded habitat for herring. The great news is that there are additional improvements coming to the fish passage at Horn Pond in 2021. The more we know about the river herring the better equipped we are to advocate for a clean and healthy watershed, and for this unique species and the wildlife it supports.
BECOME A CITIZEN SCIENTIST AND HELP COUNT HERRING
Volunteer citizen scientists have been critical to the recovery of the herring. For years, a volunteer-run bucket brigade hoisted the fish over the dams—one year they moved over 17,000 fish! Today, we depend on community scientists to help us document the size of the herring size.
The Mystic River Watershed Association installed a “fish cam” at the upper Mystic Lakes and has developed an online counting tool for citizen scientists. You can help track migrating river herring from your own kitchen table.
To count the herring, hundreds of volunteers of all ages watch these fish cam videos and count the fish they see. The run starts in the spring and lasts through June.
You can lend your helping hands as a citizen scientist and be part of this great restoration story!. Sign up below and we’ll send an email when the herring start their run! Until then you can learn more and practice counting with clips from previous years at the Mystic Herring website.
ASK ME ANYTHING
On Thursday, April 29 at 4 pm, we’re hosting an ASK ME ANYTHING event on Instagram about the counting project, about the watershed, and about herring! Be sure to follow both the @mystic.river.watershed and @MHH365 on Instagram for more information. You can also learn more about the herring count here.
HAVE QUESTIONS FOR OUR HERRING RUN AMA?
Send them to us in advance. We’ll feature questions and share our answers with you on Instagram on April 29. email@example.com
Want to get an EmAIL When The Herring Start RUNNING?
Sign up here and we’ll let you know when you can start counting.