NYC Parks to Livestream ‘Running of the Fish’ on April 6th




Running of the Fish in past years. Image courtesy NYC Parks Department

NYC Parks, in partnership with the Bronx River Alliance, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), will livestream the release of 250 alewife fish into the Bronx River.  The annual event will take place on Tuesday, April 6th at 11:45am on NYC Parks Facebook.

NYC Parks Dept Alewife Release Bronx River. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher

This year, NYSDEC will gather the fish from the Peconic River in Long Island and transport them to the Bronx, where they will be released by hand with buckets into the river! 

Now in its 5th year, the “running of the fish” hopes to continue combatting the steady decline of alewife populations in the northeast. Pollution, overfishing, mismanagement of fisheries and impediments to migration have all played a role in reducing the population of alewife. Historically, the river herring “run” or migration upstream to spawn each April is a symbol that spring has arrived.

Alewife Release Bronx River. NYC Parks Dept. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher

Generally, a slide is used for the fish (see above image). However, being mindful of COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing, the fish will be carried by hand in a bucket from the truck into the river this year.

The restocking is part of an ongoing effort to re-establish a population of these native fish in one of the nation’s most urbanized waterways.

Join NYC Parks online for the annual event, Running of the Fish,  Tuesday, April 6th at 11:45am on NYC Parks Facebook.