Celebrate the Herring Run with Charles River Watershed Association

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The following announcement was provided by the Charles River Watershed Association:

Join Charles River Watershed Association for the 2024 Watertown Dam Herring Festival! Come and celebrate the annual migration of Alewife, Blueback Herring, and American Shad from the ocean into the Charles River. This exciting event will feature live music, community art activities, an Indigenous performance, and engaging activities suitable for all ages. We hope to see you there!


Join guided walks around the Watertown Dam and explore several booths, including a fishing demonstration by Trout Unlimited, a River of Dreams fish trivia booth, and an art build led by local artist Kari Percival. Exciting raffle prizes await lucky winners at the raffle station. Get creative with activities like making fish-themed hats and screen-printing commemorative T-shirts!

The herring festival is a chance to celebrate the miraculous return of river herring to the Charles River, which travel thousands of miles to spawn in our local waterway. Attendees will learn about fish migration, dam removal, climate change, and resilience at stations throughout the festival.

These migratory fish play a vital role in the ecosystem and hold significant cultural importance. Unfortunately, defunct dams obstruct their migration routes, contributing to their decline. The Watertown Dam removal project aims to restore fish habitat and support biodiversity in the river. For more information on why removing defunct dams is critical to restoring the Charles, explore this StoryMap

Dam removal is a pressing issue in Massachusetts as aging dams disrupt river ecosystems and hinder fish migration. A 2016 inspection report categorized the Watertown Dam as being in “poor” condition. CRWA, in collaboration with the Department of Ecological Restoration, conducted the Watertown Dam Removal Feasibility Study, released in June 2021, demonstrating the urgency and feasibility of removing the dam and restoring the river.

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