Spring arrived on March 20th and the DEEP has resumed its weekly fish reports (Fish Report 3/23/16). However, the cold weather (snow on the first day of spring!) has meant cold water temperatures and a lack of migrating alewives. The fish counter at the Supply Ponds has not yet been installed and so no fish have been recorded yet.
Alewives are an anadromous (migratory) species of herring found in the northern Atlantic which migrate into fresh water to reproduce. Alewife populations have seen large declines throughout much of their range. One of the largest threats to alewives is loss of habitat and decreased access to spawning areas due to dam construction, although increased predation due to recovering striped bass populations has also been suggested as a factor. The alewife is listed by the US National Marine Fisheries Service as a “Species of Concern.”
If you are walking around the Supply Ponds, you still might be able to see the fish. Walk to the bottom of the fishway and look immediately downstream of the entrance. The alewives like the quieter water there and they sit under the bubbles in the eddies. For the best observing, bring polarized sunglasses.