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News Teaming up for fish conservation

MassWildlife has been working with partners on several ongoing fish studies on Massachusetts rivers and streams.
  • Division of Fisheries and Wildlife

Media Contact for Teaming up for fish conservation

Marion Larson, MassWildlife

MassWildlife samples river

Dam removal study partnership

MassWildlife and the UMass Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit are working together to conduct fish surveys in rivers at current and former dam locations. So far, nearly 50 rivers have been surveyed as part of a broader project to more fully understand the impacts of dams and dam removals on fish and aquatic invertebrates. Coldwater fish like native eastern brook trout are particularly dependent on upstream and downstream movements for reproduction and survival. Previous research suggests that abundances of coldwater and coolwater fish, including brook trout, longnose dace, and white suckers, increase following dam removals. Monitoring will continue for the next several years.

Connecticut River American shad monitoring

MassWildlife and US Fish and Wildlife Service have completed a third year of cooperatively monitoring juvenile American shad in the Connecticut River. Biologists capture shad at night during the summer and fall using an electrofishing boat. Abundance, length, and weight measurements are collected and used to assess the growth, survival, and productivity of the population. This study is designed to help determine the impacts of dams on juvenile shad. Shad populations have significantly declined as a result of 19th century dam construction, which prevent adults from migrating upriver to find spawning habitat. Shad are an abundant food source for smallmouth and largemouth bass, walleye, perch, and northern pike. Shad also provide food for birds and terrestrial mammals, as well as marine fish including striped bass.

shad sampling
In addition to shad, other fish captured in the survey included this 25'' walleye, 35'' carp, and 19'' smallmouth bass.

Learn more about MassWildlife's fish conservation activities.

Media Contact for Teaming up for fish conservation

Division of Fisheries and Wildlife 

MassWildlife is responsible for the conservation of freshwater fish and wildlife in the Commonwealth, including endangered plants and animals. MassWildlife restores, protects, and manages land for wildlife to thrive and for people to enjoy.