Every spring two species of fish, Alewives and Blueback Herring, abound in Cape Cod rivers and streams, coming from hundreds of miles away in the Atlantic Ocean.
Remarkably, each individual returns to breed in the same freshwater ponds in which it was born.
Cape Cod Herring Locations
Herring River, Wellfleet: Sluice ways are found at Gull, Higgins and Williams Pond
Herring Pond, Eastham: On the Herring Brook Road near Bridge Pond Drive
Pilgrim Lake, Orleans: Herring Brook Way, off Monument Rd
Lover’s Lake, Chatham: Old Comers Rd near Rt 28
Stony Brook, Brewster: Scenic location by an old water mill on Stony Brook Rd
Herring River, Harwich: Off Depot Street in West Harwich
Scargo Lake, Dennis: Conservation Land/Paddocks Road, off Rt 6A near Dr. Lord’s Rd
Long Pond, Yarmouth: At Long Pond Dr
Mill Creek, Sandwich: Rt 130 and Main St
Cedar Lake and Coonamessett River, Falmouth: Chester St and Bay Rd
Santuit Pond Fish Ladder, Mashpee: Santuit Pond Preserve, Sheilds Rd off Main St.
An essential link in the coastal food chain, River herring are eaten by an assortment of other fish and animals. During the spring months, the adult herring journey from the ocean swimming upstream to their spawning areas in the Cape’s freshwater streams and ponds.
River herring are essential to the history and culture of Cape Cod. Herring runs and the annual spring herring migration were important to the inhabitants and natives as a food source and supported a local economy.
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