Friday, April 15, 2011

The Herring are here!

What a difference a few days can make! They are a little late this year but the herring are finally here...
All those dark squiggly lines are fish. We mostly get two kinds of herring here, the blueback herring and the more common alewives. All herring are what are known as anadromous fish. They live in salt water except to breed and lay eggs. For that they need to migrate to fresh water.
If you click on these images you will get a better view of the fish but you can see how well camouflaged they are. These guys know the real meaning of swimming upstream and you can watch them swim up the waterfalls and inclines even against rushing water.
Watching the herring and alewives arrive each spring is a true Cape Cod tradition and something many of us look forward to every year. I am linking to the Mass Fish and Wildlife page that gives updated information on this annual event and rules that accompany it now that the fishery numbers have declined dramatically.

If you have a chance to go to a herring run, please do. It is a sight you won't soon forget and kids love it. Watch the gulls, herons and ospreys gather all along the creeks and rivers to take advantage of the huge numbers of fish, too. If you ever wondered why herring gulls are so named, you won't after you see them feasting on the fish...they swallow them whole!

These pictures were taken this morning at the Brewster Herring Run on Stony Brook Rd.

1 comment:

  1. Neat! Great photos! I've seen the herring swimming up the fish ladder in Damariscotta Mills, Maine, up to Damariscotta Lake. They make a big festival of it and offer smoked herring to those brave enough to try them. (I did and enjoyed them.) Quite a sight!