Alewives Anonymous reports dip in herring on Mattapoisett River

Jul 6, 2015

A report put out from Alewives Anonymous shows an approximately 25 percent dip in herring on the Mattapoisett River from last year.

The group has a long history of monitoring the herring, also known as alewives, and maintains counters on the Mattapoisett River, Hathaway Pond and Leonard's Pond.

On the Mattapoisett River, 42,332 herring were counted, approximately 13,000 fish less than 2014. Last year's numbers did see a large spike with a 156 percent increase over the 2013 count.

According to Art Benner, president of Alewives Anonymous, the cold weather prevented the group from installing the counter on the Mattapoisett River until April 6. It is usually put in place in March. There was no evidence of herring at the time, but the group does not believe it missed any herring.

While the group had no problems with the counter on the Mattapoisett River, the electric counter on the Sippican River at Leonard's Pond experienced problems. Boaters at Leonard's Pond and Hathaway Pond did report seeing herring, indicating that many reached the spawning area successfully.

A moratorium against taking or possessing herring from the Mattapoisett River and Sippican River continues. Since it went into effect, the population on the Mattapoisett River has increased from 6,000 to about 55,400 last year. Fishing will be on hiatus until the herring population "reaches a point where a sustainable harvest plan can be formed," Benner said in his report.