The 2014 alewife migration on Long Isalnd is underway! Byron Young, a retired DEC biologist, made the first report today. He didn't see a fish, but he did spot the tell-tale sign of shiny scales on the shore. The scales, which could only be from alewives this time of year, are left behind on the shore after an alewife is consumed by a predator - often a raccoon or herring gull. Byron, who has been working on alewife restoration across Long Island for more than a decade, noticed the scales while surveying the pool below the Woodhull Dam on the Little River, which is a tributary to the Peconic River in Riverhead. Based on past surveys, Long Island's alewife runs usually start on the East End and move west. Unless anothe prolonged cold snap hits the region, we can expect to see fish moving into tributaries across the island within two weeks.
And we'll be ready for them! Seatuck and its partners, including Cornell Cooperative Extension, Long Island Sound Study, and NY DEC, have trained dozens of volunteers to participated in the 2014 Long Island Volunteer Alewife Survey, which commences this weekend. Volunteer surveyors will be watching for the alewives' return at streams and rivers across Long Island. Seatuck and its partners are also in the process of installing video-based and electornic fish counting systems in four Long Island tributaries: Peconic River, Carmans River, Carlls River and Massapequa Creek (the photo below shows members of the partner organizations intalling counting equipment in the Peconic River last week). With this tremendous team effort, the 2014 alewife runs promises to be the most carefully monitored on Long Island ever!