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19. The Hudson River Nursery

These fish spawn in the Hudson estuary because it is a great nursery for baby fish. There's plenty of food, while plant beds and muddy water hide these youngsters from predators. After hatching in fresh water, the young of many anadromous fish move downriver into brackish water - a mixture of fresh water and salty ocean water. Scientists believe that young striped bass, for instance, do best at a salinity of about 0.6 to 11 parts per thousand (the salinity of full strength seawater is about 34 parts per thousand). This critical area moves from season to season, but in most years extends roughly from Newburgh Bay to the Tappan Zee.

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Net full of young herring, shad, and striped bass
A seine net full of young fish from Newburgh Bay