Nauset Horizons

Spring is Here and the Herring are Running on Cape Cod

John-Paul LaBarge, Resporter

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Spring is in the air on Cape Cod and herring are swimming up local rivers to get to their spawning areas in local kettle ponds.  Alewives and Blueback Herring swim in from hundreds of miles away to spawn in the same freshwater ponds where they were born. Herring are a key fish in Cape Cod’s ecosystem as they are a food source for many species of fish and birds including striped bass, dolphins, ospreys and largemouth bass.

Local fisherman communicate with each other to locate the herring because there are always larger fish around that are preying on the herring. “The more herring around, the more food to feed other species of fish to get them bigger,”attests Steven Kalanic. Local fisherman like Kalinac spend hours studying these fish. “The population was endangered, but now they are on a steady up rising,” noted a local herring counter. The Herring counters sit at herring runs and count how many go through and keep track of the once endangered population.

The fish are just about to burst; one to two more weeks and these fish will be flooding the ponds of the Cape. “Herring Counters have been seeing them at night in the runs, then during the day seeing them in ponds,” says local counter Barbara Desouza.

Local Fisherman John-Paul LaBarge exclaimed, “Woke up early this morning to go bass fishing, and to my surprise after the colder temperatures we had, I saw a school of three. It got my hopes up for a strong fishing season this spring and summer.”

These fish play such a vital role in Cape Cod’s ecosystem, so it is very important we respect the laws and keep their population alive. Respect for wildlife is one of the most important keys to any outdoorsman’s success.

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Spring is Here and the Herring are Running on Cape Cod