2016 Fish Counts on the Merrimack River: Anadromous Fish Returns
Forage fish: Ocean Wildlife Needs Plentiful Forage Fish to Thrive (The Pew Charitable Trusts)
Herring Management & Policy: Memo to Council on Atlantic Herring: Don’t Stop Now (The Pew Charitable Trusts)
Regional Herring Monitoring Programs
All of these programs begin counting fish a few weeks before we start in Lowell (since we are further inland)
Mystic River Watershed Association Herring Monitoring Program: What are river herring? Historical data. Interestingly, this watershed has a larger population of blueback herring, whereas on the Concord there are more alewife.
Ipswich River Watershed Association Herring Count: Video monitoring, historical data, volunteer training information
Jones River Herring Count: Video footage, volunteer program
Interesting article on recent Shawsheen dam removal in Andover.
Supporting Research at UMass Lowell
In collaboration with Dr. Frédéric Chain from the Biology Department at UMass Lowell, we are using “environmental DNA” to monitor biodiversity in the Concord River during the alewife migration.
As organisms leave behind trace amounts of their DNA in the environment, genetic approaches can be applied to detect what lives in or along the river. These methods offer high sensitivity to detect a broad range of creatures from just a few samples, and are able to identify species we would otherwise miss using traditional sampling techniques. We will be collecting water samples to identify the DNA of fishes, mammals, invertebrates, plants, and other organisms occurring around the Wamesit Falls fish ladder. These efforts will inform us on the species diversity in our river, providing a glimpse into the biological patterns associated with the alewife migration.