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The Great Hudson River Estuary Fish Count - SAVE THE DATE August 10, 2019

Explore fish diversity in the river that flows both ways

American eel netted at Ft Washington Park NYC

The Great Hudson River Fish Count Takes Place August 10, 2019: Save the Date!

The Great Hudson River Fish Count is a one-day event produced by the Hudson River Estuary Program each summer, during which naturalists and visitors at many sites along the Hudson explore the diverse, slippery, wriggly, and fascinating creatures usually hidden below the river's surface. The Estuary Program also helps to organize the World Science Festival's Great Fish Count in the New York City metro area each spring.

How are the fish caught?

Depending on the site, seines, minnow traps, and rods and reels are used. Participants may don waders to help haul a seine - a curtain of net used in shallow water - or try their luck with a fishing rod. After naturalists display and discuss the catch, the fish are released back to the river.

White perch, menhaden, and other fish caught in a seine net

What sorts of fish are found?

Fresh upriver and salty at New York City, the Hudson estuary and its watershed are home to more than 200 fish species. To date, 67 of these have been recorded during the count. Most widespread have been striped bass and white perch, each caught in both fresh and brackish water. In fresh water, spottail shiners have been the most frequent catch. In salty water, that honor has gone to the Atlantic silverside. However, the young of anadromous species (those that are born in fresh water but live in the ocean for most of their lives) are also abundant. These include striped bass and three species of herring: alewife, blueback herring, and American shad.

What do the results show?

Participating groups share results during the day to see how the Hudson's range of habitats and salinities supports a wide array of fishes, and to appreciate the estuary's vitality in both urban and rural settings. Much of the catch is young fish, underlining the importance of the river's nursery habitat. The results also show the year-to-year variability in the numbers and distribution of fish. For more details, download the 2018 Great Hudson River Fish Count results [PDF, 100KB].

The 2019 Great Hudson River Estuary Fish Count

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The 8th Annual Great Hudson River Estuary Fish Count will take place on the Hudson from Manhattan to Peebles Island on Saturday, August 10, 2019. The programs are free and family-friendly. For more information, or if you would like to sponsor a site, please contact Rebecca Houser, rebecca.houser@dec.ny.gov

World Science Festival 2019 Great Fish Count

DEC educators help to organize an annual Great Fish Count on estuarine waters in the New York City metro area as part of the World Science Festival. This year's fish count takes place on June 1, 2019. Last year, participants documented 28 species and about 1,034 individual fish (download the 2018 World Science Festival Fish Count results [PDF]). For more information, use the link to the World Science Festival website in the right-hand navigation column.

Watch a clip about seining in the Hudson River and check out other clips on DEC's YouTube Channel.