Aug 18 2015
Hudson River Fish Count Nets Aquatic Critters at Brooklyn Bridge Park
Young Brooklyn residents wait on shore to see what the net brings in at the Great Hudson River Estuary Fish Count.
Photo credit: Emily Manley  via NYER
August 18, 2015
Hudson River Fish Count Nets Aquatic Critters at Brooklyn Bridge Park

Category

Environment

Catch, count, identify, release: that was the refrain last weekend on a rocky Hudson River beach in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Beneath the hulking shadow of the Manhattan Bridge, and despite the rumble and shake of endless trains clattering above, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s Steve Stanne expertly led a group of volunteers and curious bystanders in the art of the Great Hudson River Estuary Fish Count.

Hidden Below the Surface

Now in its fourth year, the fish count is a one-day event each summer during which naturalists at multiple sites along the Hudson catch fish to show visitors the variety of fascinating creatures usually hidden below the river’s surface. This year 17 sites, from Saratoga to Brooklyn, were sampled.

More than 200 fish species call the Hudson estuary and its watershed home, and over the past three years, volunteers have recorded at least 37 of them during the count.

This year at the Brooklyn site, volunteers took the seine nets out a handful of times. They counted, identified, and documented everything pulled in, and then returned all the creatures to the river. At the end of the event, the tally included hundreds of Atlantic silversides, plus striped bass, bluefish, porgy, a lady crab and a blue crab, comb jellies, and even a lined seahorse!

According to Stanne, this year’s fish count netted a total of 33 species across all sites, “the highest number recorded on any of the four Great Hudson River Estuary Fish Counts to date.” Two of the species found in Brooklyn—the porgy and the lined seahorse—were new to the count list completely.

Photos from the Great Hudson River Estuary Fish Count

The DEC's Steve Stanne and a volunteer take the seine net out into the Hudson.

The DEC’s Steve Stanne and a volunteer take the seine net out into the Hudson. Photo credit: Emily Manley / NYER.

Clearwater's Key to Common Hudson River Fishes: our guide for the afternoon.

Clearwater’s Key to Common Hudson River Fishes: our guide for the afternoon. Photo credit: Emily Manley/NYER.

Pulling the seine net on shore.

Pulling the seine net on shore. Photo credit: Emily Manley / NYER.

Catch, count, identify, release!

Catch, count, identify, release! Photo credit: Emily Manley / NYER

The first seining net pulled in nearly a hundred Atlantic silversides.

The first seining net pulled in nearly a hundred Atlantic silversides. Photo credit: Emily Manley / NYER.

Close-up of an Atlantic silverside.

Close-up of an Atlantic silverside. Photo credit: Emily Manley/NYER.

Our first mystery fish of the day turns out to be a scup, otherwise known as a porgy.

Our first mystery fish of the day turns out to be a scup, otherwise known as a porgy. Photo credit: Emily Manley/NYER

A male ladycrab (yep, that's right) also found its way into our net.

A male ladycrab (yep, that’s right) also found its way into our net. Photo credit: Emily Manley/NYER

Steve Sanne and volunteers take the net out again, this time with help from a curious onlooker.

Steve Stanne and volunteers take the net out again, this time with help from a curious onlooker. Photo credit: Emily Manley/NYER

What did we find this time?

What did we find this time? Photo credit: Emily Manley/NYER

A striped bass!

A striped bass! Photo credit: Emily Manley/NYER

A striped bass and bluefish, held up for closer inspection.

A striped bass and bluefish, held up for closer inspection. Photo credit: Emily Manley/NYER.

The one we've all been waiting for: a lined seahorse!

The one we’ve all been waiting for: a lined seahorse! Photo credit: NYSDEC

Young Brooklyn residents wait on shore to see what the net brings in at the Great Hudson River Estuary Fish Count.
Photo credit: Emily Manley  via NYER
  • rubysjones

    Great story. I love the seahorse!!!! Thanks.