Native Anadromous Fish Species of the Taunton Great River


Adult Atlantic Sturgeon

They do get bigger than this


Today the primary Anadromous or Sea Run fish in our Great River is the Alewife. The primary spawning area for the alewife is the Assawompsett Pond complex which is drained by the Nemasket River. In the distant past there were many more anadromous fish species which used this rivers diverse and abundant spawning and nursery habitats. The reasons for the lack of these other fish today is somewhat of a mystery. Years ago the reasons were obvious, dams and pollution were a limiting factor for fish that must spawn and rear their young in the river itself. The alewife has probably remained abundant despite this because it spawns in the ponds which historically were cleaner than the rivers. As we have said in other pages of this website, there are few dams today that block their passage. Physically the river is largely unchanged, it and most of its tributaries follow the same course today that they followed when the pilgrims arrived. This being the case why have Atlantic Sturgeon, Blue Back Herring, American Shad, Striped Bass and Sea Lampreys among others not returned to their historic homes in significant numbers?


Brook Trout

American Shad

Atlantic Sturgeon

Sea Lamprey


Striped Bass

White Perch


Native Freshwater Fish Species of the Taunton Great River


White Sucker


Native Catadromous Fish Species of the Taunton Great River


American Eel