wusokyi7

Fish Identification

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33 posts in this topic

6 minutes ago, TimS said:

Alewife...herring...river herring. Not a bunker...bunker, even small ones, got more spots :)

 

bunker.jpg

That's funny, the OP is up in Boston and there is actually a stop on the T (subway/train) "Alewife" in north Cambridge. 

Not hating, as I would have asked as well, just think it's cool. 

 

 

IMG_3412.PNG

Edited by PlumFishing

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It's pretty important to be able to tell a little bunker from a little alewife - it's illegal to keep an alewife or use it for bait in Mass...and most east coast states :b:

 

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13 hours ago, PlumFishing said:

That's funny, the OP is up in Boston and there is actually a stop on the T (subway/train) "Alewife" in north Cambridge. 

Not hating, as I would have asked as well, just think it's cool.

 

It is funny, and always surprised me how many people that travel through that station every day have no idea that it's named after the alewives that spawn in the Mystic.  I mean, there's even pictures of little herring built right into the tiles on the platform!

 

Another "fun" fact that even fewer people know is that the sub-population of herring that historically spawned in the alewife brook watershed (which incl. Alewife Brook, Little River, Jerry's, Little, Blair, Spy, and Clay Pit ponds) was declared functionally extinct in 2004 after researchers failed to find any evidence of spawning over the two previous years.  The entire system was deemed unsuitable due to pollution (obviously), siltation and run-off that made the ponds too shallow to be conducive to spawning, and excessive predation on eggs/juveniles by invasive carp that do find that warm, dirty, shallow water to be quite comfortable.  So, kind of ironic to name that station after a fish that we basically drove to extinction there.

 

The good news is that, despite all that, the moratorium combined with cleanup efforts, removal of obstructions/dredging of Blair pond, etc, have led to this population making a quiet rebound.  I've had a keen interest in all this over the last 15 years and have done a lot of my own personal research on this run.  I first started seeing juveniles in Alewife brook about 5 or 6 years ago; adults a season or two later.  Nowadays it's not uncommon at all to see herring in any and all of the above water bodies throughout the spawning season.  In 2015 there was a school in Clay Pit pond that was so huge it took several minutes for them to pass by and attracted a resident population of gulls and cormorants.  2017 also marked the largest recorded run in decades for the Mystic watershed as a whole, with herring even making it as far as the spillway at Horn Pond in Woburn for the first time in well over a century! 

 

Sorry for the long-winded post.  What I'm trying to say is the restoration efforts by volunteers and researchers alike has been HUGELY successful for the Mystic/Alewife Brook runs and I think Alewife Station finally deserves it's name once again.  :)

 

PS - yes, that's a juvie alewife in the OP.

 

PPS - if you're fishing the Mystic/Charles rivers and not using black floating raps right now, you're doing it wrong.  ;)

Edited by Intrepid95

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1 hour ago, Intrepid95 said:

PPS - if you're fishing the Mystic/Charles rivers and not using black floating raps right now, you're doing it wrong.  ;)

Are you referring to something like the image below or something in one piece? I cannot seem to find a black color. Thanks for your help.

rap.JPG

Edited by wusokyi7

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8 hours ago, Intrepid95 said:

 

 

It is funny, and always surprised me how many people that travel through that station every day have no idea that it's named after the alewives that spawn in the Mystic.  I mean, there's even pictures of little herring built right into the tiles on the platform!

 

Another "fun" fact that even fewer people know is that the sub-population of herring that historically spawned in the alewife brook watershed (which incl. Alewife Brook, Little River, Jerry's, Little, Blair, Spy, and Clay Pit ponds) was declared functionally extinct in 2004 after researchers failed to find any evidence of spawning over the two previous years.  The entire system was deemed unsuitable due to pollution (obviously), siltation and run-off that made the ponds too shallow to be conducive to spawning, and excessive predation on eggs/juveniles by invasive carp that do find that warm, dirty, shallow water to be quite comfortable.  So, kind of ironic to name that station after a fish that we basically drove to extinction there.

 

The good news is that, despite all that, the moratorium combined with cleanup efforts, removal of obstructions/dredging of Blair pond, etc, have led to this population making a quiet rebound.  I've had a keen interest in all this over the last 15 years and have done a lot of my own personal research on this run.  I first started seeing juveniles in Alewife brook about 5 or 6 years ago; adults a season or two later.  Nowadays it's not uncommon at all to see herring in any and all of the above water bodies throughout the spawning season.  In 2015 there was a school in Clay Pit pond that was so huge it took several minutes for them to pass by and attracted a resident population of gulls and cormorants.  2017 also marked the largest recorded run in decades for the Mystic watershed as a whole, with herring even making it as far as the spillway at Horn Pond in Woburn for the first time in well over a century! 

 

Sorry for the long-winded post.  What I'm trying to say is the restoration efforts by volunteers and researchers alike has been HUGELY successful for the Mystic/Alewife Brook runs and I think Alewife Station finally deserves it's name once again.  :)

 

PS - yes, that's a juvie alewife in the OP.

 

PPS - if you're fishing the Mystic/Charles rivers and not using black floating raps right now, you're doing it wrong.  ;)

That's good reading right there. Thanks!

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I am still going with menhaden, with some reservations (I would release it) due to the purple back, rounded nose, and many peanuts have faint spots (behind the large primary spot) at a small size. The tail is a bit on the clear side for a menhaden, but still within the color range I have seen.

 

Small river herring tend to be more blue or green on the back at that size. I have handled hundreds of both, having lived in an area where they could be used as bait. I still could be wrong.

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Things to consider are that most "peanut" bunker move out from marshes and estuaries when they start getting that size. Since bunker, alewives and herring all spend time in brackish waters before they move out to the sea.

The Mystic River is also known to hold stripers. I've gotten plenty there in the past (at the Amelia Earhardt dam) as early as March. There have been reports of stripers as far up as the Lower Mystic Lake.

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