Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Bluebacks Have Arrived!

If you have a chance, go down to Mill Pond or Middle Pond and check it out! The runs were packed yesterday!!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The herring are here!

The herring have finally arrived! We saw quite a few this morning, so if you want to count, now is your chance. If you haven't signed up yet, send an email to Heather at and she will get you set up with a volunteer account and you can schedule your counting times.  It's so exciting!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The fish may not be here yet, but the ospreys are back!

If you remember, last year they built their nest here and at the end of the season, it was taken down. The bottom picture was from Friday, March 31st and the top 2 were taken today, Wednesday, April 5th. They didn't waste any time rebuilding! And the swans are nesting too, so be careful. They're a little testy when keeping those eggs warm.

The 2017 Marstons Mills River Herring Count has begun!

We are so excited that the count has begun. So that there is no confusion, we have changed a lot about the counting process this year and this will be your explanation.

  • If you came to our training meeting in March, then you are aware that we have changed the scheduling process. We are now using an online volunteer program that allows you to schedule yourself  for the count, Volgistics. You can go in, see what the open hours are, schedule yourself and change the schedule if you make a mistake or find you need to take a day off that you had previously scheduled. If you would like to be a counter, and we don't have you in the Volgistics system yet, please send an email to Heather at: .  She will set you up with a password and the instructions.

  • This year, there is a counting program being conducted at Middle Pond as well as Mill Pond. Three Bays is still overseeing the Mill Pond count while the Town of Barnstable is conducting the Middle Pond count. If you would like to count at Middle Pond also, please contact Amy Croteau at and she will get you started at that spot also. She is utilizing the Volgistics program for her volunteer scheduling as well.

  • Because we have two counting programs on the same river, Three Bays and the Town are collaborating on the counting process. We are trying to keep everything as uniform as possible because we realize we will be sharing a lot of the same counters.So, the scheduling process is the same, and the reporting process is the same too. We are also following the State's counting protocol more closely than we have in the past. Before, we waited until we saw a lot of fish before starting the count. Now, the State has requested that all of the runs in the State begin on April 1st and go until June 1st. So, even though there might not be any fish yet, they use the temperature and weather codes to determine the timing of the runs.

  • So, after you are all set with your schedule, the counting is pretty much the same. We still have the locked box at the run (same combination on the lock)  and you are still counting in the same spot at the white board. BUT, the recording process has changed:
  • In the box, there will be:  two thermometers - one for the air temp and one for the water temp - they will be labeled, pens and pencils, waterproof notebook
  • All of this will be in 2 separate plastic bags with silicone drying packs included. Please be sure to put the thermometers in one bag and the notebook in the other so that we can cut down on any wetness!

  • In the notebook, you will be recording the following: (you just need to turn to the next blank page and fill in the blanks)

  1. Date
  2. Name
  3. Time you began counting
  4. Time you finished counting (should only be 10 minutes)
  5. Air temperature
  6. Water temperature
  7. Weather code (in the front of the notebook)
  8. Any comments you may have (how many birds, people, if you got attacked by our resident swans, etc)
That's it! There is no need to call anyone or email anyone with the info. We'll stop by every once in a while and change out the notebooks to collect the data.

If you are having trouble with anything, please feel free to email me at for any help. We are happy to help you set up your schedule.

And thank you for volunteering! We can't do this without your help.

Monday, May 2, 2016

What a Strange Year We're Having!

Well, all we can say is WOW! 

This has been the strangest counting year we've had. It just goes to show you that you cannot predict anything when it comes to herring!
We started out very slowly, with just a few fish counted a day. Then, as the weather warmed up, we got such a great rush of fish, for about 3 days. And then the cold weather came back. And it doesn't look like it's going to warm up anytime soon.  Very frustrating!
I put together a chart comparing this year to the last 2 years. You can see that we are running way behind. If it would just warm up a little!!! I think it's important to note that we started the count earlier this year than we have in the past, so that may have been a factor.

 But the good news is that hundreds of fish have been spotted up at the flume going into Middle Pond. So, they're here, we just aren't seeing too many of them jump!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

They're Here!

The fish have finally arrived!  If you haven't been down to the run, go soon! The past 3 days have been great, but now the cool weather has returned, so it's slowed down a bit. I think these are the Alewives moving through, and the Bluebacks will be here soon!

So, look at the schedule and see if you can fill any of the open slots. Look at the weather and pick a nice sunny & warm day!

And here are some pictures of the neighbors!

Thanks to Betsey Godley for these pictures!

Here is a video of the fish jumping!

Thanks to Jessica Kozik for the video!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

They ARE here, believe it or not!

We have had a few days where there have been no fish sighted at the run, but they are around!  One of our counters, Ruth, took this video of one crossing over!!  And, if you go up to the flume at Middle Pond, they are pooling there. So, patience pays!  We just need a few days of warm, sunny weather and they will be flying through!!