The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced yesterday that striped bass fishing will soon begin on the Hudson River.
According to the DEC, amphibians are on the move and eels have also arrived in the Hudson tributary streams.
The recreational striped bass fishing season in the Hudson River and its tributaries north of the George Washington Bridge will begin this Saturday, April 1, 2023. In marine waters south of the bridge, it will begin on April 15, 2023.
With warm temperatures and forecast for rain, volunteers of the Amphibian Migrations and Road Crossings Project are out looking for amphibians on the move. This time of year, species like spotted salamander, Jefferson-blue spotted salamander complex, and wood frog emerge from their winter shelters in the forest, and walk and hop to their breeding wetlands, called vernal pools. Vernal pools are small, isolated wetlands that typically dry up in the summer, and since they can’t support fish, they make excellent nursery habitat for developing frog tadpoles and salamander larvae.
Due to habitat fragmentation, many migrating amphibians need to cross roads, where mortality can be high. Since the AM&RC project started in 2009, more than 1,000 volunteers have helped 32,565 salamanders, frogs, and toads across roadways, and have recorded observations on amphibian species, weather, and traffic.
All along the Hudson River Estuary, students, volunteers, and scientists are counting juvenile eels for the Hudson River Eel Project. Juvenile American eels (Anguilla rostrata) are hatched in the Sargasso Sea in the Atlantic Ocean, and every spring they arrive in estuaries like the Hudson River as translucent, two-inch long “glass eels.”
This spring, eels are being counted at 11 sites on the Hudson River from New York Harbor to the Capital Region. Trained volunteers don waders and venture into tributary streams to check 10-foot cone-shaped nets (“fyke nets”) specifically designed to catch this small life-stage of the eel. Volunteer and student researchers then count and release the glass eels back into the water and record environmental data on temperature and tides. Most of the eels are released above dams, waterfalls, and other barriers to their migration, so that they have better access to habitat. Eels will live in freshwater rivers and streams for up to 30 years before returning to the sea to spawn.