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Hudson River YOY Alewife, Blueback herring and striped bass migration notes

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I subscribe to the Hudson River Almanac and it chronicles the yoy migration for many species of fish. The warm fall we enjoyed in October is reflected in the unusually late movement of Young of the year alewife, blueback herring and striped bass down the river to the salt.

 

 

The late movement of these babies, might be reflected in the late movement southward of the striped bass down the coast.

 

Hudson River Almanac 10/23/14 - 10/31/14

11/07/2014

October 23 - 31, 2014

Compiled by Tom Lake, Hudson River Estuary Program Naturalist

 

OVERVIEW

One of the magic aspects of science is knowing that we don't know it all, and that discoveries can occur serendipitously. Such was the case of a new frog from Staten Island. The seaward migration of young-of-the-year fishes seemed to be nearing its seasonal conclusion.

 

10/28 - Beacon, HR 61: A strong south wind was pushing up through the Hudson Highlands, churning the surf along the south-facing beach. The river looked like coffee-double cream. As a preamble to a school class tomorrow, we sampled the shallows and found a bounty of migrating fishes, including alewives 58-95 millimeters [mm] long, blueback herring (54-65 mm), and striped bass (68-102 mm). A bevy of brown bullheads (99-101 mm) were also stuck (literally) in the seine. The river was 59 degrees Fahrenheit.

- Tom Lake, T.R. Jackson

 

10/29 - Beacon, HRM 61: Seventh graders from Haldane High School were on the beach for their make-up program to the rained out Day-in-the-Life (10/16). While the numbers of fish were fewer than yesterday, they were still impressive. Seaward bound YOY alewives, blueback herring, and striped bass comprised most of the catch. The river was 59 degrees F.

 

10/30 - Beacon, HRM 61: This was day three of a watch on this beach at Long Dock to see if the fish fauna had changed. The many river herring that were here two days ago were far less numerous yesterday, and almost completely gone today (we caught two alewives in seven hauls). The majority of the catch was YOY striped bass (65-195 mm) The river had warmed a degree to 60.

 

There are numerous groups (State, Schools and Private clubs that do net survey counts in the Hudson River.

 

The River Herring and Striped bass begin coming south in late August. American Shad are also moving south at that time. They must have moved earlier than the three species recorded above. You can see that this three day effort shows the numbers dropping lower and lower.

 

I can't find my conversion table so would one of you tell me how long the striped bass are in inches - YOY striped bass (65-195 mm)

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Interesting article, 65mm is 2.559" and 195mm is 7.677". That seems like a big range for fish born at the same time.

 

Couple of factors at work here. The are born over a 10 day period so the first born will have a jump on the last born. Some of the the back waters are richer in food and that can make a big difference over a 5 month growth period. The spawning zone is almost 100 miles long of freshwater tidal . Striped bass are born at Hudson River mile 160 down to Hudson River mile 60. Newburgh, NY (I-84) to Watervilet, NY (Federal Flood Control Dam at HRM 160.

 

The Hudson is a great nursery, but as in all things over distance, some environments are richer than others. The YOY that survive will probably reach 35" and 18 to 20 pounds in the spring or fall of 2014.

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I have heard that people are catching bass by GWB in Hudson River...never tried to fish Hudson river by myself...

 

You are missing a great chance to connect with Striped Bass and Bluefish from the Bear Mtn. Bridge (Route 6) to the the sout side of Staten Island. the Current NY State Hudson River Striped Bass Inland Records is a 60 pound 58" striped Bass Caught this past Spring north of the Bear Mountain Bridge.

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I have fished the lower Mohawk from Schenectady to the Hudson River for 45 years. During that time period, the herring run has drastically declined in the Mohawk. I can attest to the great fishing I used to have around the schools of young herring, all through the summer and then when they go down the river in the fall. I think the decline in the Mohawk herring run coincides with the lower amount of traffic in the barge canal. There are no fish ladders. The herring have to go through the locks. Barge traffic is way way down compared to 40 years ago, and recreational traffic doesn't really get going until after the herring run. 30 years ago I had the pleasure of some great striper fishing around Peebles Island (above the Federal Dam at Troy) in late September, when the juve herring were coming down. I don't even try anymore.

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I have fished the lower Mohawk from Schenectady to the Hudson River for 45 years. During that time period, the herring run has drastically declined in the Mohawk. I can attest to the great fishing I used to have around the schools of young herring, all through the summer and then when they go down the river in the fall. I think the decline in the Mohawk herring run coincides with the lower amount of traffic in the barge canal. There are no fish ladders. The herring have to go through the locks. Barge traffic is way way down compared to 40 years ago, and recreational traffic doesn't really get going until after the herring run. 30 years ago I had the pleasure of some great striper fishing around Peebles Island (above the Federal Dam at Troy) in late September, when the juve herring were coming down. I don't even try anymore.
Buz, You are absolutely right about the limited use of locks that use to provied oil, gas and many other products to central NY and the Adairondaks. The Thruway and longer trucks have bi passed the slow motion delivery system the water routes provided over the past 150 years. You might want to approach the Barge Canal Authority or what ever the HQ for Canals in NY is called after calling the Fish biologists in Stamford, NY on Route 10 and the Hudson River Fishery Unit at New Paltz, NY just off the NY State Thruway exit 18. I think the Canal authority may be part of the Thruway. I don't live in NY anymore, but here is an Idea that might increase the spawning area for blueback and alewife herring , American Shad and Striped Bass. If the Canal Authority still has canal operators employed, the two state agencies could work out schedules for lock activity during the spawning run and operate the locks when herring, shad and striped bass enter the system. Utilize the locks themselves as fish lifts. I know they are busy with sail boat and large cabin cruises moving down the locks in September and October, from western and Northern NY and Canada as they make their way to the Ocean. The same goes for the Champlain Canal as well. Working the locks to increase an endangered species like herring and shad could and should move the parents up to spawn and then allw them to move back down after spawning between April and June. And then as the YOY of those species begin moving back down the Mohawk and the Upper Hudson Rivers the locks could transport them towards the last lock south. Your Sportsmen's Federation should get behind this. The state has the manpower, they need to operate the locks to keep the machinery in motion fora chance to re-establish ancient spawning grounds that were cut off with the advent of the Federal Dam just above Troy. I'll bet they could get Federal Grant money to make it work. Let me know what you think of the idea. I've fished the Hudson for over 60 years. Caught my first striped bass at the mouth of the Croton River in 1950 when I was 11 years old. I sat on the Hudson River Estuary Management Committee for many years. This idea could get legs if approached properly. Bob

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