From the Sea to the Raritan: The Spawning Journeys of our Local Anadromous Fishes
Anadromous fishes are species that live much of their lives in the ocean but must return to fresh waters like the Raritan River to complete their life cycle. Their journey from the ocean to their freshwater spawning grounds has always been a perilous one, but human alterations to habitat – especially dams and pollution – have made it harder. Legislation, such as the Clean Water Act, and technology, such as fish ladders, have helped to reverse the declines of many species. In this course, we will focus on anadromous fish species in our back yard (the Raritan River). The spawning migrations of fish will serve as a jumping off point for a broader exploration of river ecology and restoration. Students will learn field ecology techniques through trips to the Raritan where they will participate in ongoing research on fish migrations.