Thank you for all your help during the 2020 survey season!
For a quick summary of the 2020 season, the first sighting was out in the Peconic River on February 26th, more than 2 weeks earlier than our official monitoring season start of March 15th! We think the early timing of the run is likely due to the milder winter we had. The season then peaked around early April with high numbers recorded in the Peconic River (10,000), Alewife Brook (300), and Connequot River, Bubbles Falls (200). The season then started to wind down a bit possibly due to some of the cool and rainy weather we had in the early spring. Byron Young confirmed a final end to the migratory season on May 16th with a final sighting at the Peconic River. The Peconic had a tremendously successful run this season. Through April 15, the alewife count in the Peconic is 45,000+! Also, we have discovered a new run this year at Sumpwams Creek in Babylon! Take a look at our 2020 Volunteer Survey Sites Map to see all the streams where volunteers observed river herring and eels! Just click on the red dots to see all the details.
Alewife and Blueback Herring are species of river herring native to Long Island. Like salmon, they are diadromous, which means they split their life cycle between saltwater and freshwater. Each spring they return from the ocean to "run" up Long Island's rivers and streams to spawn in freshwater. Unfortunately, dams and culverts have restricted their access to most of this important habitat.
Below find our new Volunteer Survey Sites Map for the 2020 Season (Click on the red dots to view all the details):
Seatuck is working with partners across the region to improve access and restore local populations of these ecologically important fish. The Long Island Volunteer River Herring Survey - organized by Seatuck and our partners at the Long Island Sound Study, Peconic Estuary Program and South Shore Estuary Reserve - aims to find the waterways where "remnant" runs of river herring still exist and then to monitor the size and timing of those runs.
Participants in the survey are asked to commit to surveying a local waterway from mid-March through mid-May. The survey protocol involves visiting a neighborhood river or stream and spending 15 minutes looking for river herring or signs of their presence. The visits can occur daily, weekly or as often as possible. All data is good data - the more trained eyes we have on the water, the better! Observations and information from the survey visit are then submitted through an easy-to-use on-line application on your computer or mobile device and automatically becomes part of our study. The on-line app helps you to geo-locate your survey location and even submit photos.
While trainings are finished for the season, click here to watch a live survey by Emily Hall!