Herring are harbingers of spring. The first of them usually appear in Island waters now. But there is serious concern about the health of the fishery across the region.
Although Massachusetts is in the third year of a moratorium on the harvesting of these small fish, the fishery has failed to rebound. Fishing prohibitions are also in place in Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Also known as alewives and river herring, these anadromous fish make a pilgrimage every spring into coastal estuaries, to spawn in the freshwater pond where they themselves were created.