MassWildlife is involved in several fisheries conservation activities. Most of these activities are focused on gathering data about fish and fish habitats across the state. For more information about these efforts, contact the Fisheries staff at the West Boylston Field Headquarters (508) 389-6300.
These activities include:
- Statewide Fisheries Survey and Inventory - Water bodies in watersheds are sampled as part of a 5 year basin cycle using a standard sampling protocol. In the warmer months, MassWildlife staff may be seen walking through streams and rivers with special backpacks and a "wand" placed in the water. The backpacks are battery operated electro-shocking devices designed to deliver a measured charge of electricity into the water. Fish stunned by the charge are carefully netted, identified, measured, counted and then released. This procedure also occurs on lakes and ponds with the electro fishing boat. This sampling technique allows fisheries biologists to learn about the "fish demographics" of that pond, lake, river or stream.
- Target Fish Community Development - The Target Fish Community illustrates what a river fish population should look like in southern New England, and represents a measurable goal for restoration efforts. Currently the agency is involved in inventory processes.
- Coldwater Fishery Resource Identification (CFR) - This project's goal is to identify waters that the Division considers to be coldwater fisheries resources. Currently (2011) there are nearly 900 streams identified statewide. The identified CFRs are organized geographically by watershed and the information is updated annually.