North River (Massachusetts Bay)

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Marshfield bank of North River

The North River is a river, approximately 12 miles (19 km) long,[1] in eastern Massachusetts, the United States. It is primarily a tidal river, formed by the confluence of the Indian Head River and Herring Brook. The North River forms the boundary between the towns of Norwell and Pembroke, Massachusetts, and downstream, the boundary between Scituate and Marshfield. The river flows into Massachusetts Bay at New Inlet, where it also converges with the mouth of the South River.


The North River is primarily a habitat for striped bass and bluefish. As the tide rapidly changes both the bass and bluefish get trapped in the shallows. The most common shallows occur by the flats of the river. These flats are approximately half a mile wide and one mile long. During the spring, when schools of striped bass and bluefish are most active, is the best time to fish by the flats, either by boat or on land.[2]


The North River is a popular river for kayakers as well as for small boats. There are several locations to load into the water. One at Bridge Street in Norwell, Union Street in Marshfield, Chittenden Lane in Norwell, Driftway Park in Scituate and upriver on the Indian Head River a tributary to the North River in Hanover off Indian Head Drive. The North and South Rivers Watershed Association has a explaining more about using the rivers. Tide is a major factor in determining timing of putting in and taking out. The North and South Rivers Watershed Association has an for different locations along the river. Public parking is available at these locations.[3][4]


The North River was host to the Fox Hill Shipyard which produced vessels up to 390 tons. The Fox Hill Shipyard produced over 56 vessels between 1690-1869. The heaviest vessel that was created was the Hilo. The very first ship launched by the shipyard was the Orient, weighing 42 tons. The first two shipbuilders on the river were Nathaniel Church and John Palmer.[5]


Further reading[edit]

"North River Fishing", last updated October 19, 2012, [1].
"Striped Bass Fishing Massachusetts", last updated August 23, 2012, [2].
"Fox Hill Shipyard" last updated November 17, 1012, [3]. North and South Rivers Watershed Association, updated regularly [4]