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  • Writer's pictureDon Wilding

Learn about the herring March 30

The herring, or alewives, swimming against the current at the herring run in Brewster. (Photo by Don Wilding)

Learn all about the herring and its annual springtime ritual with Barbara Brennessel, author of “The Alewives’ Tale: The Life History and Ecology of River Herring in the Northeast,” in Provincetown on March 30.

Click here for a “Shore Lore” column that I wrote about Brennessel for the Cape Codder last spring.

River herring have been economically important since colonial times as food, fertilizer, and bait. In recent years they have attracted much attention from environmentalists, especially as attempts are being made to restore the rivers, streams, ponds, lakes, and estuaries that are crucial for their reproduction and survival.

Brennessel will provide an overview of the biology of the fish—from fertilized eggs to large schools of adults that migrate in the Atlantic Ocean—while describing the habitats at different stages of their life history. She explores the causes of the dramatic decline of river herring since the mid-20th century and the various efforts to restore these iconic fish to the historic populations that treated many onlookers to spectacular inland migrations each spring.

This free presentation is part of the Center for Coastal Studies’ Winter Lecture Series, which is supported by Napi’s Restaurant.

Participants are encouraged to arrive at 5 p.m. and enjoy Napi’s special early bird dinner.

For details, call 508-487-3622, x-103, or email

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