Snowdrops Are Nice, but Herring Are Heart of a Fisherman's Spring

The ocean may still be as blue as it was in January, but there is a new fragrance that goes with a warming ocean. Is it too soon to think of a bluefish blitz at Wasque?

Fisheries Group Votes for Increased Herring Protections

The New England Fishery Management Council voted Thursday to limit the number of river herring and shad incidently caught by trawlers in federal waters. The cap is the latest in a series of state and federal measures underway to protect the species of fish, whose populations are at historic lows.

Herring, Mackerel Return for Season

There is a lot more to cheer about on the waterfront this spring when it comes to recreational fishing than a year ago. The fish are here and the list of species is long.

Atlantic mackerel showed up in April. This is a fish we call precious today, although decades ago it was a common spring fish.

New Initiatives in Vineyard Waterways Give Needed Boost to Herring Fishery

For generations, the arrival of the herring at coastal ponds has been the Island's harbinger of spring. Now, major initiatives are under way across the Island to enhance waterways for the returning alewife.

This week, work began and is almost complete on the construction of a fish ladder at the head of Lake Tashmoo.

Herring Runs Closed in Commonwealth to Protect Fishery

Concerned about a precipitous decline in herring, the state has banned their harvest in Massachusetts for the next three years.

Also known as alewives, herring is the most valued bait fish in Vineyard waters.

The closure, which affects at least 100 herring runs along the Massachusetts coast, ironically comes at a time when Vineyard towns are taking steps to revive and improve their runs.

Fishermen, Regulators Brace for Spring Herring Moratorium

Fishermen, Regulators Brace for Spring Herring Moratorium


Alewives, one of the great harbingers of spring, have returned to Vineyard waters.

But there is a crucial difference this year: the state of Massachusetts has barred people from catching or possessing these anadramous fish, which return from the ocean to spawn in freshwater ponds.

Fishermen Weigh In On Debate Over Herring Ban

A moratorium on the taking of river herring, instituted three years ago because of dwindling stocks, appears set to be extended for another three years.

A decision will not be announced until next Friday, but a public hearing attended by Vineyard fishermen last week made it clear the fishery was still far from recovered.

Paul Diodati, the director of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, said there had been some improvement in stocks, but populations were still low.

Protecting the Herring

Protecting the Herring

More than one hundred fifty years ago, Henry David Thoreau noted the many rivers on Cape Cod named for herring. The day could come, he mused in his book Cape Cod, when people might find more Herring Rivers on the Cape than herring.

While that day has yet to come, the scarcity of herring in recent years from runs throughout Massachusetts, including on the Vineyard, has endowed Thoreau’s observation with an eerie prophecy.

Three Years Into Moratorium, Island Herring Runs Still Slow

Herring are harbingers of spring. The first of them usually appear in Island waters now. But there is serious concern about the health of the fishery across the region.

Although Massachusetts is in the third year of a moratorium on the harvesting of these small fish, the fishery has failed to rebound. Fishing prohibitions are also in place in Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Also known as alewives and river herring, these anadromous fish make a pilgrimage every spring into coastal estuaries, to spawn in the freshwater pond where they themselves were created.

Fishermen Cry Foul At Loss of Herring

Ravaging of the river herring population by midwater trawlers and an absence of round-the-clock environmental police protection were the hot topics at a meeting between Cape and Islands Rep. Tim Madden and members of the newly formed Martha’s Vineyard Dukes County Fishermen’s Association Friday.