This dataset summarizes abundance to assess the current status of alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) and blueback herring (Alosa aestivalis) in Massachusetts rivers.Data from 2011 and earlier is from Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries Technical Report TR-46. Catch data from 2012-2015 was provided by Ben Gahagan and John Sheppard from DMF. Visual counts are a mix of both fish species as they pass through a restriction in the river. Count data for three (Parker, Monument and Mattapoisett Rivers) of the five rivers used to estimate Massachusetts trends in passage and total run size indicated a precipitous decline in alewife abundance after 2000. Data for The Parker and Ipswich rivers are relavant to the Plum Island Ecosystems project.
The Ipswich Watershed Association has been estimating passage using visual counting since 2000. They’ve attempted to use the statistical design of Rideout et al. (1979) but prior to 2005, effort was not sufficient to provide reliable estimates.
In 2006 -2008, DMF also made census counts by using a fish trap. There are no biological data available. Parker River (Newbury) Students and researchers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst conducted several studies during the 1970s that provide information on juvenile and adult population characteristics, abundance and migration of alewives (Beltz, 1975; Cohen, 1976; Cole et al., 1976; Cole et al., 1978; Huber, 1974; Jimenez, 1978; Libey, 1976; Mayo, 1974; Rideout et al., 1979).
Since 1997, the Parker River Clean Water Association has been estimating passage numbers at the first dam using visual counting and the statistical design of Rideout et al. (1979). Due to high flood waters of 2005 and 2006, a weir failed, making it difficult for alewives to pass. Passage counts since 2005 are probably biased. There are no current data on population characteristics.
Status of River Herring on the North Shore of Massachusetts Tim Purinton, Frances Doyle and Dr. Robert D. Stevenson 2003 This report was funded by the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs – Massachusetts Watershed Initiative through the Riverways Programs of the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game formally the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Environmental Law Enforcement.
Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries Technical Report TR-46 An Assessment of River Herring Stocks in Massachusetts Technical Report G. A. Nelson, Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Department of Fish and Game Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries January 1, 2011. 86pp. http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/dfg/dmf/publications/tr-46.pdf
Gary A. Nelson
Massachuestts Division of Marine Fisheries
Annisquam River Marine Field Station
30 Emerson Avenue
Gloucester, Massachusetts 01930
Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries Technical Report TR-46 An Assessment of River Herring Stocks in Massachusetts Technical Report G. A. Nelson, Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Department of Fish and Game Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries January 1, 2011. 86 pp.http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/dfg/dmf/publications/tr-46.pdf
on going data collection
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