(Mirror Daily, United States) – After 85 years, herring are finally spawning again in a Hudson River tributary. This was possible only because a dam was removed from the mouth of the tributary.
It’s been many years since dams have become a source of imbalance in the ecosystem of the Hudson River. Therefore, many organizations have doubled their efforts to find the best strategy that will bring back the normal cycle of the river.
More of these dams need to be removed so that herring can spawn more often here. This species is vital for the ocean ecosystem as many other predatory fish and mammals rely on herring as a primary source of food.
Moreover, not just these fish had to suffer because of the unusually high number of dams along the Hudson River, but also many other species, such as the yellow perch, white sucker, American eel and other ocean-going fish.
Officials hope to remove many of the 1,500 dams successfully as soon as possible. According to John Waldman, a biology professor at Queens College, these dams are in fact artifacts of the Industrial Revolution that are still damaging the environment.
Unfortunately, starting from 1960 the river herring populations along the Atlantic Coast have critically dropped off because they lost much of their spawning habitat. If these fish find no ideal place where they can reproduce, they eventually die.
Therefore, state and federal biologists are doing their best to develop habitat restoration programs to help and support the increase of river herring stocks. Besides other predatory fish and mammals, birds also rely on herring as a source of food. In other words, if their population continues to decline, it will affect the entire ocean ecosystem.
According to Mayor Patrick Madden, Wynants Kill dam is the next obstacle that will be removed to clear the way for the river herring and to improve the health of the Hudson River.
This dam is around 100 years old and is cutting the way of herring and other species since then. It is impossible to imagine how many generations of river herring and other fish have been lost since then just because the natural process of spawning has been interrupted. Hopefully, the collaboration between scientists and authorities will pay off.