River herring or alewives are migratory fish that spend most of their lives at sea and return to freshwater to spawn. They make their “runs” into our estuaries when the waters warm to about 48-50°F (~10°C). The Seatuck Environmental Association invites groups of community scientists to visit rivers/streams to monitor for river herring and American eels. American eels have the opposite migratory pattern of river herring; they spend most of their lives developing in freshwater and migrate thousands of miles to the Sargasso sea in the mid-Atlantic ocean to spawn.
Collecting this data allows scientists to understand breeding population sizes, migratory patterns, behaviors and overall health of this species. Many watersheds on Long Island have had dams in the past which poses a threat to these species. However, fish passage projects are being conducted to allow these river herring to get to the right place to lay their eggs.
The first monitoring site is located at Frank Melville Memorial Park in Setauket. We will meet in the Bates House parking lot.
Come join us for some shoreline monitoring!