Shad At the ‘Shed

The Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association is exploring the theme of migration with the Princeton Migrations project, a community collaboration from February to May.

The Princeton Migration encompasses films, lectures, outings, exhibits, tours, performances, workshops and other community actions. The collaboration was led by the Princeton University Art Museum, and includes a host of campus groups and more than 30 nonprofits.

The Watershed will host a lecture from 3 – 5 p.m. on March 25. Come learn about efforts to restore once-great runs of American shad and other migratory fish to the Millstone River with Olaf Jensen, Associate Professor with the Department of Marine & Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University, and Steve Tuorto, Ph.D., Science Director at the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association.

When successful, the American shad migration will be restored in the Millstone River up to Lake Carnegie in Princeton.

Steve Meserve of the Lewis Fishery, the last commercial shad fishing operation on the Delaware River, will talk about his enterprise and stewardship of the river. He is the fourth generation to lead the Lambertville, NJ, business that dates back to 1888.

Want to learn how to tie a shad fishing lure? Come learn the technique from Trout Unlimited volunteers!

Finally, Susan McLellan Plaisted of Heart to Hearth Cookery will demonstrate planking shad outside and will offer tasting samples.

Come listen to these engaging speakers and watch some fish swim in our big tank at the Watershed Center.

Additionally, a kayak and canoe outing on the Millstone River is set for 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. on May 19. Look for American shad and other migratory fish from as we journey along the Millstone River from Griggstown to Manville.

Watershed scientists and naturalists on the outing will describe how last summer’s removal of the Weston Mill Dam restored historic migration routes for American shad and other fish that have been blocked for nearly three centuries from the Millstone River – the heart of our watershed.

Earlier this month, the Watershed held a free screening of DamNation, a powerful film that explores how rivers bound back to life when obsolete dams are removed. Migrating salmon and other wild fish are able to return to their spawning grounds, after decades without access, and the health of the rivers improve.

We also showed a short video of last August’s removal of the Weston Mill Dam on Millstone River after decades of effort by the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association and its partners.

After the viewings, Project Manager John Jengo who led the removal of that dam and others on the nearby Raritan River, and Jim Waltman, the Watershed’s executive director, spoke about the importance of removing dams.  Some 19th Century artifacts from these demolished structures were available for examination.