Hudson and Delaware Marine Fisheries
A variety of migrating marine fish species use the waters of the Hudson River for spawning and as a nursery for their young. The DEC conducts many studies and manages several projects to monitor and track the populations and movements of these marine fish. By tracking and monitoring fish populations, DEC seeks to learn about fish migration, the status of certain species, and how environmental factors and fishing can affect them. The information collected allows DEC to more effectively manage and protect these important species. DEC also works with other coastal states through the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to help protect New York fish stocks during their ocean migrations. For more information on Hudson River American shad and Hudson River river herring (blueback herring and alewife), please download the stock status summary (PDF) from the right column on this page.
Striped Bass Management
Up-coming regulation change
On October 29 th2014, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) Management Board adopted Addendum IV to Amendment 6 of the Interstate Fisheries Management Plan for Striped Bass. The new addendum requires a 25% coast-wide reduction in harvest to reduce fishing mortality. The reduction is necessary to stop the decline in coastal spawning stock biomass (SSB) (link listed in the right column under "links leaving DEC's website) of large female fish.
Hudson River striped bass are part of the coastal migratory stock. In the Hudson, annual abundance of young of year fish has decreased in recent years. The Hudson River SSB is also decreasing along with the coastal SSB; the number of Hudson spawning fish will decline within the next three to four years.
NYSDEC developed an Implementation Plan outlining a variety of options for the recreational fishery in the Hudson River. All options meet the required 25% reduction in harvest.The plan is in the column on the right if you wish to read it.
The Implementation Plan is in review by the ASMFC Technical Committee, the New York Marine Resources Advisory Council, and the Hudson River Estuary Management Advisory Committee. The ASMFC Management Board will make decisions at their winter meeting on February 5th, 2015, including the options listed in all state implementation plans. On or soon after the Feb 5th meeting, New York will make a final decision on which option to choose for New York fisheries. Regulations will be put in place using the emergency regulatory procedure, since ASMFC requires the regulation to be in place prior to any fishing in 2015; the opening date of the Hudson's striped bass fishing season occurs on March 16th.
Other Anadromous Stocks
DEC staff also assists in managing Delaware River anadromous fish stocks through participation in the Delaware River Fish and Wildlife Cooperative. The cooperative is made up of representatives from all the Basin States (New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware) and both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service. The current fisheries focus is on American shad and the recent decline that is occurring in the Delaware River shad stock. For more information on Delaware River American shad, please download the stock status summary (PDF) from the right column on this page.
Hudson River American Shad Recovery Plan
The shad recovery plan, currently being implemented by DEC and other partners, addresses many of the known and suspected causes of the fishery's decline. Over-fishing, habitat loss, increased populations of predatory species and competition for food sources are among the many factors identified. The long-term goal of the plan is to restore shad to healthy and sustainable population levels. A PDF copy of the recovery plan can be downloaded from the right column on this page.
American Shad Stock Status
With the American shad population in the Hudson River at historic lows, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) closed the recreational and commercial fisheries for American shad in the Hudson River and the Marine District around Long Island in March 2010.
New York biologists played a lead role in the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission 2007 coast-wide stock assessment of American shad. The assessment concluded that the Hudson River shad stock declined substantially since the 1990s -- and now is at historic lows. Juvenile production dropped to a historically low level in 2002 and has not rebounded. Hudson River recreational and commercial fisheries were restricted in 2008 with the hope that it would trigger some improvement in production of young American shad. Because no change occurred, the DEC implemented fishery closures.
A stock status presentation given at public information meetings, prior to the fisheries closure is available below. This presentation will be updated as data become available.
More about Hudson and Delaware Marine Fisheries:
- NY River Herring Management - NY River Herring Sustainable Fishing Plan
- American shad Recovery Plan Status Report - Status report of the American shad Recovery Plan.
- Upcoming Meetings - Information on upcoming public meetings on Hudson River fisheries management
- Hudson River Fisheries Unit - Managing anadromous fish in the Hudson River Estuary, long term monitoring programs and fishing information
- Guide to Hudson River Fish and Blue Crab Tags - Info about tagged fish and crabs in the Hudson
- Hudson River Recreational Fishing Survey - Recreational fishing survey for the Hudson River
- Adult Atlantic Sturgeon - Details on the work being done on the Hudson sturgeon
- Juvenile Atlantic Sturgeon Monitoring - Monitoring the juvenile Atlantic sturgeon population in the Hudson River Estuary
- Juvenile Atlantic Sturgeon Sonic Tracking Project - Monitoring the seasonal movement of hatchery and wild Atlantic sturgeon within the Hudson River
- Blue Crabs of the Hudson River - Tagging Blue crabs in the Hudson River
- Blue Crab Fishery Monitoring - Monitoring the blue crab fishery in the Hudson River
- Catch and Release Mortality of American Shad and Striped Bass - Catch and release information for striped bass and American shad
- River Herring Spawning Stock Survey - River herring life history and spawning population project
- Black Bass Study - Monitoring the smallmouth and largemouth populations in the Hudson River
- Delaware River American Shad Stock Status - August 2009 stock status update for Delaware River American shad
- Reports on Reopening a Hudson River Striped Bass Commercial Fishery - 1999 and 2001 reports from the committee to assess the reopening of the striped bass commercial fishery