Herring Running: a Sure Sign of Spring in Barnstable

There are many signs that Spring has arrived; one of the first is the annual Herring runs.  Their run, like the Salmon, is viewed as one of Nature’s wonders.  Living in the ocean most of their lives, each year they return to the freshwater areas in which they were born to spawn and start the cycle again.  Arriving in April and early May, vast schools cross the ocean to the freshwater ponds via runs, many man made “Ladders” are in place to help in the final leg of their journey.  After spawning, females lay up to 100,000 eggs.  The adults then set off for the return journey to the ocean.  By autumn the young follow the adults path to the sea and become part of the next years “run”

There are several locations where visitors might view this wonder of nature:

Bournedale Herring Run.  Access from Route 6A, about 1 mile south of the Sagamore Bridge.
Stony Brook Herring Run, Brewster.  Series of natural Fish Ladders in a millside pond.  Adjacent to the Stony Brook Grist Mill.
Bell’s Neck Conservation Area, Harwich.  Almost 250 acres of conservation land, featuring a man-made herring run.  Access from Bell’s Neck Road off Depot Road.
Mashpee River Herring Run, Mashpee.   A man-made herring run next to the grounds of the Mashpee Wampanoag Indian Museum on Route 130.
This is a great way to enjoy one of  the wonders of nature and the serenity that we are fortunate to enjoy every Spring – we invite you to enjoy it with us!

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