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Cape Cod Run Herring! Run!

The Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Commission approved a three-year ban in all state waters on harvest, possession and sale of river herring. The November 2006 decision came in response to recent drastic declines in river herring spawning runs. No river herring may be taken any sooner than 2009.

Since the National Marine Fisheries Service started encouraging fishermen to go out and catch abundant stocks of Atlantic herring more than a decade ago, herring have been virtually absent from inshore waters. There are evidently two species of herring—river herring and ocean herring. Regardless of what is to blame, both stocks are in trouble. During the past five years, river herring from Maine to Miami have not been returning to spawn.

Seagulls from Florida to Maine are nervous as violators of the restriction will be fined as much as $1,000 for ignoring the new restrictions. This is just another blow to an already depressed seagull population. Since the capping of the landfills (town dumps), it has been getting harder and harder to make a living as a seagull or “dump duck” as they were sometimes called.

This will hurt the striped bass fishermen as well. Live herring is one of the best baits for stripers. The best natural bait for stripers is of course—lobster.

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Cape Cod
Posted by Cape Cod - (website) on 11/26/06
Categories: FishingIssuesNature
Keywords: fishing, herring, herring run


All our global rivers, large and small, and their watershed tributaries are fisheries - bodies of water, fresh (or salt), where fish feed, breed and can be caught.  River fisheries are as rich as oceanic fisheries such as the Grand Banks, etc.  Many ocean fish (herring, salmon, smelt, bass…) require fresh or brackish water to spawn.
Industrial nations, such as the U.S., choke and pollute once rich rivers with dams and industrial waste robbing us of a “great public good” in the words of Justice, O.W.Holmes.  How we treat our rivers is a benchmark of how civilized we are.  We have a lot to look forward to as we crawl out from under our subprime commercialism.  CCF

Posted by Conal C. Foley from Winthrop, MA on 07/13/08 at 10:59 AM | #

I caught a river herring in the bass river. Their was a large school of them and they were eating something in the water and splashing every where. I released it.

Posted by Derek from Bass River Mass on 07/26/08 at 04:19 PM | #

September 2008
The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) is considering a three-year extension on the taking of river herring.

In 2005, the state joined with other Atlantic Coast states to ban the commercial and recreational harvest of River herring, or alewifes, in an effort to help the species. Also under consideration is a narrowing of the allowed by-catch for herring from 5 percent to 1 percent by weight.

There is also evidence of a significant bycatch (PDF) of river herring in the Atlantic herring midwater trawl fishery.

Posted by Cape Cod from Cape Cod, Massachusetts on 11/14/08 at 08:12 PM | #

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