Anadromous Fish of the Parker River

Anadromous fish are fish that are born in freshwater rivers, streams, and ponds but spend most of their lives in salt water. The adults return to freshwater, usually to the stream in which their were born to spawn. Human activities, most notably dams, have severly impacted the ability of many anadromous fish to return to their home stream. Well designed fishways (fish ladders), however, can alleviate the problem and provide these species with the means to make the passage upstream.

From the very beginning of colonial settlement in the Parker River basin, laws were passed to regulate fishing and by the late 1700's there was considerable concern about the decline of fish populations in the Parker River.

Anadromous Fish Still Present in the Basin

  • Alewife

  • Blueback Herring

  • Sea Lamprey

  • Smelt

  • Striped Bass

  • White Perch


PRCWA Contacts

We'd love to hear from you and get your input on ways to preserve the Parker River Watershed and the Plum Island Sound.

PO Box 798, Byfield, MA  01922
Telephone :

Email :


Check out PRCWA's Facebook Page!


Webmaster: Jerry A. Mullins

 Contribute to our Online Watershed Journal!

Share common experiences & observations in our three beautiful watersheds (Essex, Ipswich, Parker).  Please share your activities with your photographs, mapping your location, and if possible, a journal reflection.


The results of your journal entry will be visualized, along with all of the other participants.

Our Purpose!


The PRCWA is a community-based, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the restoration and protection of the waters and environment of the Parker River and Plum Island Sound Watersheds.


Share us with the World

Help us spread the word about the importance of protecting our pristine  Parker River Watershed for the benefit of our quality of life and for the preservation of our environment .

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