Shady Lea Blog

Buckies are back at Shady Lea Mill

Last week I reported that the spring herring run began in earnest on the Mattatuxet River, and that the buckies (Swamp Yankee for river herring which is the common name  for alewife) had made it as far as Gilbert Stuart’s birthplace about five miles from the mouth of the river near Narragansett Beach.

This morning, Rhode Island’s most famous spring visitors made it another 1.3 miles upstream to the waterfall here at the Shady Lea Mill.

herring at mill

Several of the tenants here remember when this stretch of river would become flush with these anadromous (live in salt water, breed in fresh water) fish every spring. But this is the first time they have been seen this far upriver in more than a decade. Save The Bay tells me this is good news.

Here’s a short video:

And a few more pictures:

You can see a herring splash in this picture:
herring splash

And one lone herring in this one:
lone herring

And in this picture (taken last night), you can see that the dilapidated old fish ladder here won’t help the herring make it up into the pond:
shady lea falls

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