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Charles River Becomes Home To Future Scaly Guests

Shady fry fish larvae released into Charles River.

More than 330,000 shad fry fish larvae were released into the Waltham portion of the Charles River yesterday as part of an effort to  boost the river’s fish population.

Shad Fry populations once dominated the river, but pollution, overfishing and dam construction have cut those numbers in recent years, according to a press release form the state Executive Office Of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

“We hope the small numbers of adult American shad we have seen for the first time return to the Charles River are the harbinger of restoring this species to its native spawning habitat in this urban river,” state Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Mary Griffin said. “We are grateful for the support of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and partnership with non-profit environmental organizations such as the Charles River Watershed Association in our effort to restore shad in the Charles River.”

The fish were culled from the Merrimack River in New Hampshire where their numbers have grown in recent years thanks to improvements in water quality and swimming passages, according to the press release. The Charles River is one of the primary locations for shad fry restoration efforts because of its history hosting the fish and conditions conducive to reproductions, according to the release.

Editor's Note: A pervious version of the story incorrectly stated actual shad fry were released into the river. In fact, only shad fry larvae were released.

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