Creations
THE RIVER HERRING MIGRATION SERIES
WEYMOUTH HERRING RUN

STATUS: PENDING RELEASE
GENRE: DOCUMENTARY

DURATION: 00h:55m:08s

SERIES DURATION: 06h:25m:46s

MAIN SOUNDTRACK: ENGLISH, STEREO

ASPECT RATIO: 16:9

AVAILABLE FORMATS: DVD-9x2, CDx1

FILMING LOCATIONS: MASSACHUSETTS - UNITED STATES

SCREENINGS: VISIT THE EVENT PAGE OF SCIENCES DIVISION'S FACEBOOK PAGE FOR LATEST UPDATES

River Herring Migration Series - ORDER ONLINE
SCIENTISTS AND PRESENTERS
ABOUT THE SERIES

The River Herring Migration series is a 5 part, 6 hour independent production by Illuminating Minds Media, focused on the natural history, latest science and conservation issues surrounding the River Herring. Three years in the making and spanning across tens of river systems across Massachusetts and Maine, the series weight of content draws on extensive filming in the field,  the expertise of over 30 scientists, naturalists, activists and herring experts  as well as the latest in the scientific literature for producing a timely investigation into the state of River Herring across the Eastern Atlantic.

STORYLINE

River Herring numbers have been decimated in most  waterways and the once historical spectacle of the million strong runs that filled vast expanses of Massachusetts and eastern coastal river systems have largely vanished. Many of the problems and proposed solutions explored  in parts 1 and 2 of  "A Complicated Path" are further explored in the backdrop of the highly altered Back River watershed in Weymouth, Massachusetts.

 

From  habitat fragmentation to the impact of pollutants, invasive plant growth, pressures from encroaching development to various obstacles posed by fish ladders, culverts, bypass and a flood control system, we sympathize with the  immense challenges overcome by the herrings to reach their spawning destination at Whitman's Pond. An investigation into the highly urbanized Back River watershed system supporting one of the largest runs in the state  mirrors the many problems that affect similar watersheds up and down the Eastern Atlantic.

 

Among the highlights of the film is a dramatic sequence in which cameras pass through a tight claustrophobic entrance into a flood control structure, where thousands of herrings have strayed enroute to a mistaken spawning destination.

MEDIA EXCERPTS
DVD CHAPTERS BY TOPIC

INTRODUCTION

 An introduction to the Weymouth Back River's highly altered and urbanized watershed.

 

OLD SWAMP RIVER

An assessment of habitat fragmentation, effects of a dam, encroaching development and water withdrawal on the river.

 

MILL RIVER

An integral part of the system, Mill River is increasingly under threat from water withdrawal and encroaching development, rendering cascading effects across the watershed.

 

HEAD WATERS

An assessment of the critical impact of small streams on the whole watershed.

 

SOUTH COVE

An overview of silt deposition, habitat fragmentation, water withdrawal, nutrient overload and invasive plant growth.

 

WHITMAN’S POND

An in-depth habitat assessment covering challenges posed by invasive plants, anoxia, nutrient overload and stratification.

 

BYPASS

An introduction to challenges posed by the tunnels, fish ladders and culverts. Engineered to dissipate excess water away from the fish ladder, the bypass structure poses a challenge to River Herrings  that waste valuable energy reserves in a futile attempt to master its steep gradient, only to be thrown back to the channelized river system.

 

FISH LADDERS

Overview of maintenance required to keep fish ladders functional as well as construction flaws presenting major hazards to the River Herrings during migration such as descaling, subsequent fungal infection and mortality.

 

FLOOD CONTROL SYSTEM

Fish rescue operation takes us deep into the Weymouth Floodgate Tunnel where thousands of fish have strayed and millions more perished since it was put into place back in 1970s.

 

CULVERTS AND TUNNELS

Overview of altered water velocity vs. benefits of a natural stream bed followed by glimpse inside the tunnel beneath a portion of the Weymouth Herring Run, exhibiting degraded infrastructure, silt deposition and accumulating pollution from the runoff.

 

WEIR RIVER

Naturalist Philip Lofgren reflects on the state of nearby rivers and habitats that were once filled with herrings and are still interconnected in many ways with the

Weymouth Herring Run.

 

CLOSING

Closing thoughts by Scott Dowd and Philip Lofgren, both Weymouth natives whose lives were greatly affected by the River Herring migration.

 

CREDITS

RESEARCHED, PRODUCED, DIRECTED, SHOT AND EDITED BY: SHERVIN AZAD ARYA

SERIES COMPOSER AND MUSIC PRODUCER : CHRISTOPHER RENNA - CHROMATOPHONE PRODUCTIONS

EXECUTIVE AND SERIES PRODUCER: SHERVIN AZAD ARYA

MOTION GRAPHICS, ANIMATIONS, SCORING DIRECTOR, SOUND DESIGN AND AUDIO MIX: SHERVIN AZAD ARYA

AERIAL MAPS: GOOGLE EARTH |  BING

SPECIALIZED FILMING SYSTEMS ENGINEER: MARC DAVIDSON | MYSTIC MOTION CONTROL

HONORARY PRODUCERS: ED LOFGREN | PHILIP LOFGREN

 

PANEL OF INTERVIEWEES:​ BRADFORD CHASE | SCOTT DOWD | PATRICK HERRON | PHILIP LOFGREN | SAMANTHA WOODS

 

SCIENTIFIC ADVISORS: MICHAEL ARMSTRONG | | JOHN SHEPPARD

 

ADDITIONAL CONTRIBUTORS: STEVE HICKEY | GLEN JOHNSON | JOHN LAPORTE  | IAIN MACLEOD | JEFF MOSCHELLA | KRISTY OWEN | TRICIA PRIES | REGGIE ZIMMERMAN

 

ILLUMINATING MINDS MEDIA WISHES TO THANK:  3A Marine Service, Inc. | Alewife Harvesters of Maine | Bass Pro Shops -​ Foxborough, Massachusetts | Biology Department - The Boston University | Biology Department - The​ University of Maryland | Biology Department - The University of Massachusetts in Boston | Biology Department - The Tufts University​ | Bureau of Sea-Run Fisheries and Habitat ​-​ The Maine Department of Marine Resources | Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder Restoration | Deerfield River Watershed Association | Environmental Defense Fund | Edenton National Fish Hatchery | Environmental Science Department - The​ University of Southern Maine | Ichthyology Department - T​he Harvard University​ | Jones River Watershed Association | Mass Audubon | Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, Massachusetts | Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) | Maine State Aquarium​ | Marine Unit at the Everett Police Department Massachusetts | Museum of Science in Boston​ | Mystic River Watershed Association | National Marine Fisheries Service at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)​ | New England Aquarium | New England Wildlife Center | North and South Rivers Watershed Association | US Fish and Wildlife Service | Wampanoag Native American Homesite - T​he Plimoth Plantation | Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI)

 

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