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Plants and AnimalsJoin Us on June 10 to Have fun World Fish Migration Day...

Join Us on June 10 to Have fun World Fish Migration Day on the Hudson Estuary

Join Us on June 10 to Have fun World Fish Migration Day on the Hudson Estuary

Participants gather for fish count

Scientists and educators are at each site to share details about each species pulled in.

As winter turns to spring every year, the change in seasons drives migratory fish from the world’s ocean into estuaries and freshwater tributaries to spawn. The slight warming of the water, the subtle lengthening of the daylight, and easy biologic triggers can send an assortment of saltwater fish inland to breed. We rejoice this seasonal cycle on the Hudson River with our annual World Fish Migration Day Event hosted by the Columbia Climate School’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the Recent York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

On Saturday, June 10, at multiple locations throughout the Hudson and Harbor, groups will host free public events inviting participants a likelihood to tug a seine net along the shore, or drop in a fishing line from a pier, to see just what may be moving within the water. We’ll host a site on the Lamont Field Station at 200 Ferry Rd. in Piermont NY. This might be our first Science Saturday event of the summer season. All of the species are counted after which returned to the estuary to proceed their role within the ecosystem. This event is an important solution to rejoice National Ocean Month and to learn why the Hudson estuary is known as a significant ‘arm of the ocean’!

Why Do Fish Selected Estuaries for Spawning?

The ocean is an enormous space with a large mixture of predatory species of fish, and small, young of the 12 months fish, can find this a really hostile environment. The calm, protected waters of an estuary can provide juvenile fish a spot to ‘hide out’ and, placed on just a little size, before they move back into the larger ocean and a more difficult environment. It’s the connection between land and water, where the slowing of the water allows suspended materials wealthy in minerals and nutrients that wash in off the land to drop and settle, that creates priceless nurseries for a lot of of our fish species. Along with being calm, the shallow, nutrient-rich nature of estuaries offer a seemingly limitless supply of food for young, freshly spawned fish. Within the U.S., a lot of the fish we eat spend at the least a part of their lifecycle in estuaries.

What Species Could We See?

American eel

American eel are a typical presence within the Hudson although at the moment of 12 months we usually tend to net smaller glass eel moving into the estuary or young elvers moving upriver, relatively than this full grown yellow eel. (Image by Margie Turrin)

It is tough to predict what we’d pull in. We recurrently see striped bass, American eel, and a number of herring species including the blueback, alewife (together known as river herring), American shad and Atlantic menhaden. There are also other species moving from fresh to salt water inside the Hudson this time of 12 months, like the long-lasting blue crab. Mating and egg release occurs in the saltier lower Hudson however the small crabs will travel to brackish (mixture of salt and fresh) water to start their cycle of shell creation and molting as they start their growth to maturity. The males will spend most of their time within the brackish and freshwater sections of the Hudson before returning downriver to the salt to seek out the females, and mate again.

Sea horse

Within the Recent York Harbor, lined seahorse aren’t an unusual catch on World Fish Migration Day. This one has wrapped its tail tightly across the thumb of the sampler for stability. (Image by Edita O’Brien)

Along with the estuary’s migratory fish species, we will even tally a large array of other fish species just like the lined sea horse, northern pipefish, bay anchovy, striped killifish, mummichog, striped mullet and plenty of others. Every location will vary within the fish they find moving through the water, but at each site, a team of scientists and educators might be available to enable you benefit from the event.

Northern Pipefish

Northern Pipefish are related to the lined seahorse, and are commonly pulled into our
nets, but their slim size allows them to simply slip through if not collected quickly for the count. (Image by Peter Park)

Where and When Will This be Happening?

There might be 11 events hosted within the Lower estuary that may run on the times and locations noted on the graphic below. For an interactive map and complete information on locations and times, please visit our event website. This is an excellent partnership event with each site hosted by different organizations.

Fish Count Sites

What About Atlantic Sturgeon?

The majestic Atlantic sturgeon are also entering the Hudson at the moment of 12 months. Moving in along the river bottom, these iconic fish are heading to the Upper estuary to spawn. While we is not going to be seeing these fish in our Saturday catch tally, we’re tracking this amazing species with one other tool, eDNA. Hudson River Park in NYC, The Center for the Urban River at Beczak in Yonkers, Lamont’s Piermont Field Station team, and the Hudson River Estuary Program at Norrie Point are partnering for the third 12 months in tracking a set of migratory species as they move through the estuary using environmental DNA or eDNA. Through analyzing water samples for small snips of DNA that the fish shed as they move through the estuary, we are able to track Atlantic sturgeon moving by our sections of the river. Samples collected in May showed sections of their DNA within the water in Piermont and Norrie Point as they moved from the Atlantic ocean to the freshwater Upper Hudson to spawn.

Atlantic Sturgeon

Recent York State DEC samples the sturgeon moving into the estuary to trace their health and numbers. The fish are weighed, measured and sampled after which immediately returned to the water.

The eDNA program is just a method of tracking Atlantic sturgeon within the Hudson. As well as, the NYS DEC monitors their movement and their health while they’re within the river, through a rigorous sampling program which you can read more about here.

Why Are Oceans Essential in Migration and Beyond?


Respecting and protecting the world’s ocean is critical. World Fish Migration Day wouldn’t occur without our connection to the ocean. Humans are depending on the ocean for therefore many ‘services’. The word ‘services’ implies extractive use, and while many may object to it, understanding the importance of the ocean to us as humans is critical in establishing our respect, and enlisting our motion to raised look after it.

Who Can We Contact With Questions?

For more information on this event please contact :
Margie Turrin or Marisa Annunziato at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

Full fish and catch data from prior 12 months’s events.


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