Herring and Fish Counts and Eel, Oh My!

Last week on this site, we featured a video on small hydro projects. Uphill reservoirs of water can be a great way to store and generate energy, but they require a good deal of thought and planning around how they might affect the services that the natural watershed is providing.

One of the main issues to contend with in any hydro project is its affect on the eels and other fish that travel up the natural waterway to spawn and later back down the waterway to the ocean to give birth to the next generation. Hydro projects that don’t give a means for species to get around them going up stream, like a fish ladder, will prevent them from reaching their spawning grounds. As Eric Hutchens describes in the video, projects that don’t provide the proper filters and screens to keep the fish out of the power generating flow will create chum out of the downstream running species.

Perhaps you are thinking that eels are kind of creepy anyway and maybe even wondering whether there aren’t enough herring in the world already. But, as Eric points out, species like herring are feed stock for a chain of other fish that you might want to fish for, for fun or profit, even if you don’t appreciate the role they may play in the ecology of upland watershed.

Fish counting is a volunteer effort. If you’d like to become a part of the fish count in Rockport in person, Eric suggests contacting our Shellfish Warden, Rebecca Visnick, who can provide you with instructions.

Or, you could count fish in Plymouth, MA from the comfort of your own home by visiting https://www.plymouthriverherring.org/

Everything is connected.