Alewife Otolith Removal
This video shows the otolith extraction technique that we use for river herring and American shad. First, using a knife, we slice the top of the head off exposing the brain cavity. Next we scoop out the brain matter to expose the otic capsules. We then extract the otic capsules and tease out the otoliths. This fish is an alewife, one of the two species of river herring that we manage here in Massachusetts. Otoliths, or "ear stones" are the preferred structure for ageing these species. Just like trees, otoliths have annular rings on them that can be counted to determine the age of the fish.
North Atlantic Right Whales
North Atlantic right whales made their way into Cape Cod Bay in April 2013. The footage, shot by MarineFisheries biologist John Chisholm, offers a view of the animals from shore.
Charles River Fish Ladder
This clip shows a small fraction of the 15,000 (per day!) river herring passing through the Watertown dam fish ladder on the Charles River this May. Footage from May 19, 2013.