What lurks below the surface of the magnificent Hudson River? Find out for yourself! This weekend, New Yorkers have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the slippery, wriggly residents of the Hudson by participating in the Great Hudson River Estuary Fish Count.

Now in its fifth year, the fish count is a one-day event organized by the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Hudson River Estuary Program. At 19 sites, from Saratoga to Brooklyn, participants will catch aquatic critters using seines, minnow traps, and rods and reels. After documenting and examining the haul, the fish and other organisms are returned to the water.

Citizen participants in the Fish Count may watch from shore or jump into available waterproof waders and help pull in the nets. Visit the DEC’s website to find a sampling site near you!

Counting the Catch

The first seining net pulled in nearly a hundred Atlantic silversides.
Atlantic silversides, caught during the 2015 fish count. Photo credit: Emily Manley / NYER.

The Hudson River’s range in salinity and habitat types supports a wide array of fish and other wildlife. More than 200 fish species have been documented, including several that migrate into the river from the Atlantic Ocean each spring to spawn.

Over the last four years, the fish count has recorded 47 species of fish, including striped bass, white perch, stripers, spottail shiners, Atlantic silverside, and three species of herring: the alewife, blueback herring, and American shad.

In 2015, NYER attended the fish count at Brooklyn Bridge Park—here’s what we saw!

For a complete account of the fish caught during the 2015 count, download the 2015 Great Hudson River Estuary Fish Count results (PDF 19KB).