Winter Speaker Series

2022-2023 Zoom Speaker Series

Running Silver!
Restoring the Great Atlantic Fish Migrations

John Waldman, Aquatic Conservation Biologist, Queens College, CUNY
Thursday, February 9, 2023, 7:00pm


Friends of Merrymeeting Bay’s (FOMB) fifth presentation of their 26th annual Winter Speaker Series, Running Silver! features Aquatic Conservation Biologist John Waldman. FOMB’s Winter Speaker Series presentations are again being held via Zoom and are accessible via hyperlink at the top of the FOMB web page: This event takes place Thursday, February 9th, at 7 pm.

That one could “walk drishod on the backs” of schools of salmon, shad, and other fishes moving up Atlantic coast rivers was a not uncommon kind of description of their migratory runs during early Colonial times. Accounts tell of awe-inspiring numbers of spawners pushing their way upriver, the waters “running silver,” to complete life cycles that once replenished critical marine fisheries along the Eastern Seaboard. This is a hugely important, fascinating, and unique look at the fish of North America whose history and life-cycles and conservation challenges are poorly understood. Despite their primordial abundances, over the centuries these stocks were so stressed that virtually all are now severely depressed, with many biologically or commercially extinct and some simply forgotten.

Drawing on Waldman’s thirty-year career as a scientist and educator with a passion for the native river fish of the North East, Running Silver tells the story of the past, present and future of these sea-river fish with a mix of research, historical accounts, anecdotes, personal experience, interviews, and images. This important presentation will elevate public consciousness of the contrasts between historical and present, showing the enormous legacy already lost, and helping inspire efforts to save what remains.

John Waldman joined the faculty of Queens College, CUNY as a tenured professor of Biology in 2004.  For the previous twenty years he was employed by the Hudson River Foundation for Science and Environmental Research, most recently as Senior Scientist. Waldman received his Ph.D. in 1986 from the Joint Program in Evolutionary Biology between the American Museum of Natural History and the City University of New York, and prior to that an M.S. in Marine and Environmental Sciences from Long Island University. As an aquatic conservation biologist, Waldman has authored more than 90 scientific articles and several popular books, in addition to a number of scientific volumes. He has also been an occasional contributor to the New York Times and other periodicals. 

FOMB hosts their Winter Speaker Series October-May, usually on the second Wednesday of each month. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the series continues via Zoom. The FOMB March 8th presentation: My Life for the Birds & Bats features noted retired USFWS Senior Biologist, Al Manville This event takes place at 7:00 pm with the Zoom registration link available at a week or so prior to the presentation. 

Speaker Series presentations are free, open to the public. Visit to see speaker biographiesfull event schedules, video recordings of past presentation,become a member, and learn more about how you can help protect beautiful Merrymeeting Bay and the Gulf of Maine.


Watercolors by
Sarah Stapler