Part of $3.85 Million Habitat Restoration Project

Spring Lake, NJ - On May 1 the American Littoral Society will begin a series of fish monitoring surveys in Wreck Pond in preparation for a $3.85 million project funded by a US Fish and Wildlife Service Post Hurricane Sandy Resiliency Grant.  This will be the fifth round of surveys focused on monitoring the presence of anadromous river herring, which includes alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) and blueback herring (Alosa aestivalis), and catadromous American eel (Anguilla rostrate).
Anadromous fishes are born in freshwater then migrate to the ocean where they grow and mature before returning to freshwater to spawn. Catadromous fishes migrate from the ocean to freshwater where they grow and mature before returning to the ocean to spawn. River herring were listed as species of special concern in 2012, which included a closure on the freshwater commercial fishery and marine recreational fishery and limitations on the freshwater recreational fishery.

The monitoring is part of a larger project involving the construction of a 5.5' x 8' x 600' foot long culvert between Wreck Pond and the Atlantic Ocean.  Wreck Pond is an 84-acre tidally influenced pond located between Spring Lake and Sea Girt, New Jersey. It's located at the easterly limit of the Wreck Pond Brook Watershed and drains approximately 12.8 square miles into the Atlantic Ocean. Currently, the water quality of the pond is impaired limiting recreational opportunities and impacting fish and wildlife. 

Benefits of the project include increased opportunity for migration and passage of river herring and American eel between Wreck Pond and the Atlantic Ocean; increased tidal flow which will improve water quality and the spatial distribution of salinity within the pond allowing for more productive brackish plant and animal growth; and increased outflow capacity of the structure leading to reduced flooding.

Presence of river herring in Wreck Pond has been historically documented by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection. Alewives were observed during the 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2014 surveys, whereas blueback herring were only observed in 2006 and 2007.

Additional monitoring of water quality, water level, and birds will be conducted by project partners including NJ Department of Environmental Protection and Conserve Wildlife Foundation.

The project is complemented with funding from additional project partners including the Borough of Spring Lake, NJ Department of Environmental Protection, and the County of Monmouth. 

Members of the press are invited to attend a fish monitoring event.  Monitoring events will occur throughout May and June.  Contact Captain Al Modjeski at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 732-291-0055 to learn more.

For more information about the American Littoral Society or to become a member, please visit or call 732-291-0055.