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Nearly 200K Herring Make First Migratory Run Up Mystic Since Civil War

A new "fish ladder" allows herring into their favorite spawning location.

"For the first time since the Civil War, river herring (both Alewife and Blueback herring) made their way to the Upper Mystic Lake on their own."

That's according to an announcement from the Mystic River Watershed Association.

According to the association, an estimated 198,932 herring made it up the Mystic River on their own to Upper Mystic Lake in Medford, Arlington and Winchester, which is their most desirable spawning habitat.

The fish used a "fish ladder" that was built into the newly renovated Mystic Lakes Dam in Arlington and Medford, the announcement says.

More than 85 volunteer fish monitors observed the herring run and logged 685 observations, which allowed the Mystic River Watershed Association to estimate the total herring run, according to the announcement.

"It's an exciting new program, and we're happy with the first year's results," said Katrina Sukola, a watershed scientist quoted in the announcement.

Interested people can learn more about the herring run and herring monitoring at www.mysticriver.org/herring-monitoring/.

Public Access Producer August 20, 2012 at 09:05 PM
It's about time. Will this help the stagnant Mystic River near Route 16 get some much needed "shaken & stirred"? 200,000 fishies swimming up river is some kind of big activity.
Joe Viglione August 22, 2012 at 05:39 AM
So when the herring spawn where do the offspring go? Up the Aberjona River or back out into the ocean? Here's an interesting link Alewives generally spawn in ponds and slow rivers, bluebacks spawn generally in streams. During spawning, the eggs settle and stick to gravel, stones, logs, or other objects. Unlike Pacific salmon, spent fish typically survive and move back to the sea after spawning. http://www.buzzardsbay.org/herringruns.htm

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