Join today and get outside at one of our 60+ wildlife sanctuaries. New Individual and Family memberships are just $35! Start your membership
Join today and get outside at one of our 60+ wildlife sanctuaries. New Individual and Family memberships are just $35! Start your membership
Snowy Egret standing on grassy island surrounded by water
Snowy Egret @ Clare Carvel

Salt Marsh Science Project Fish Results & Data

Students participating in Mass Audubon’s Salt Marsh Science Project are helping collect data on fish. Many sites that they are investigating are on sites where roads have been blocking the flow of the incoming tide. To investigate whether these “tidal restrictions” are affecting fish, minnow traps are set on both sides: upstream and downstream. Middle School and High School students are investigating sites on the North Shore of Massachusetts. 

Our Questions include:

  • Where is there a greater number of fish?
  • Where is biodiversity greater?
  • Is the size of fish affected by their location: upstream or downstream of a tidal restriction.


With the help participating students, we have been collecting data on fish as it relates to salt marshes in coastal Massachusetts since 1996. Please note that not all sites are monitored each year—the date range indicates the start date and the most recent year data was collected. 

LocationYears MonitoredParticipating Schools & GroupsRestricted? Restored?MapGraphs OnlyGraphs & Database in Excel
Boston, MA, Thompson Island2006-2008Outward Bound, WellesleyRocks impede tidal flow. Removed August 2007.
download thommap (328.1 kB)
download thommin (13.6 kB)
download thommin (15.9 kB)
Danvers, MA, Behind Mass General North Shore, (Formerly Osram Sylvania)1998-2014Holten Richmond Middle School, Essex North Shore Agricultural & Technical High School, DanversTidal restriction and berm. Not restored.Map
download danvmin (527.9 kB)
download danvmin (93.9 kB)
Dorchester, Milton MA, Neponset Marsh2004-2007UMass BostonFilled marsh. Fill removal completed April 2005.Map
download nepomin (14.2 kB)
download nepomin (7.7 kB)
East Boston, MA, Belle Isle Marsh2005Excel Academy Charter School, East BostonNoMap
download belimin (17.3 kB)
download belimin (18.5 kB)
Essex, MA, Conomo Point Road1998-2008,Manchester Essex High School, Essex Elementary and Middle SchoolTidal Restriction restored November 2000
download essemap (311.5 kB)
download essemin (361.8 kB)
download essemin (100.8 kB)
Gloucester, MA, Mill Pond1998-2015O'Maley Innovation Middle School in GloucesterTidal restriction. Site flooded when board placed on tidegates spring 2003, killing marsh plants. Tide gates opened beginning spring 2004.
download gloumap (191.8 kB)
download gloumin (223 kB)
download gloumin (217.8 kB)
Gloucester, MA, Wingersheek Beach2006Essex North Shore Agriculture & Technical High School, Maritime HeritageBermMap
download wingmin (10.2 kB)
download wingmin (10.6 kB)
Gloucester, MA, Eastern Point2000-2015Essex North Shore Agricultural & Technical High School, Natick Homeschoolers, St. Mel's School in GloucesterTidal restriction restored November 2003.
download glepmap (862.9 kB)
download glepmin (305.7 kB)
download glepmin (113.5 kB)
Ipswich, MA, Littleneck Road2004, 2007Ipswich High SchoolTidal Restriction; culvert collapsed in spring 2000, ponding killed marsh plants. New culvert put in Spring 2001.
download ips2map (815.5 kB)
download ips2min (8.2 kB)
download ips2min (14.7 kB)
Ipswich, MA, Argilla Road1997Mass Audubon and NMFS ScientistsTidal Restriction Restored Fall 1998MapNot AvailableNot Available
Ipswich, MA, Cedar Point1999-2001, 2004, 2009-2010Stoneridge Montessori School, Beverly, The Proctor School (Topsfield)Tidal Restriction Phase 1 Restored Spring 2000
download iptpmap (693.3 kB)
download iptpmin (100.5 kB)
download iptpmin (56.6 kB)
Ipswich, MA, Littleneck Road2004-2007Ipswich High School (site 2)Tidal Restriction; culvert collapsed in spring 2000, ponding killed marsh plants. New culvert put in Spring 2001.Map
download ips2min (8.2 kB)
download ips2min (14.7 kB)
Ipswich, MA, Town Farm Road2000, 2007Ipswich High SchoolTidal Restriction restored Spring 2005
download ips1map (1 MB)
download ips1min (12 kB)
download ips1min (33.6 kB)
Newburyport, MA, Joppa Flats1998-2015Newburyport: Rupert A. Nock Middle School, River Valley Charter SchoolFill removal restoration and panne creation 1999. Small tidal restriction not restored.
download nbptmap (525.5 kB)
download nbptmin (220.4 kB)
download nbptmin (276.6 kB)
Revere, MA2000-2001Revere High School 
download reveremap (733.9 kB)
download reveremin (10.7 kB)
download revemin (144.2 kB)
Rockport, MA, Saratoga Creek & Seaview Street1998-2015Rockport Middle SchoolStorm drain sediments removed, panne creation Spring 1999. Seaview St. tidal restriction restored Fall 2003.
download rockmap (792.3 kB)
download rockmin (179.6 kB)
download rockmin (64.6 kB)
Rowley, MA, Batchelder's Landing1996-2007, 2015Pine Grove School in RowleyUnrestricted site (reference site)
download rowlmap (653.4 kB)
download rowlmin (15 kB)
download rowlmin (52.2 kB)
Rowley, MA, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge: North Pool2001-2015River Valley Charter School, Newbury Elementary School, Rupert A. Nock Middle School, Northern Essex Community College, Gulf of Maine InstituteRestricted. May be restored in the future.
download refumap (858.7 kB)
download refumin (391.4 kB)
download refumin (201.1 kB)
Salem, MA, Forest River2003-2015Collins Middle School in SalemRestricted. Some Phragmites removed January 2003.
download salmmap (717.7 kB)
download salmmin (423.3 kB)
download salmmin (180.9 kB)
Salisbury, MA, Old County Road2001 onlySalisbury Elementary SchoolRestricted 
download socrmin (9 kB)
download socrmin (4.6 kB)
Salisbury, MA, Railroad bed off Mudnock Road (Town Creek)1998-2002, 2010Salisbury Memorial Elementary SchoolTidal Restriction Transects are downstream of restriction. Downstream transects flooded by closed tidegate killing downstream plants in spring 2004. Site washed out in spring 2005.
download salimap (205.6 kB)
download salimin (46.6 kB)
download salimin (53.4 kB)
Wellfleet, MA, Herring River2001-2002Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter SchoolRestrictedMap
download whermin (11.1 kB)
download whermin (6.7 kB)
Wellfleet, MA, Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary1999Mass AudubonUnrestrictedMap
download welfmin (9.4 kB)
download welfmin (31.4 kB)

Analysis Resources

Changes in Salt Marsh Vegetation, Phragmites Australis, and Nekton in Response to Increased Tidal Flushing in a New England Salt Marsh

Get Involved

If you'd like to collect data in your community, contact us