Hudson River Fishes and their Environment

Transport of Striped Bass Larvae Out of the Lower Hudson River Estuary

Dennis J. Dunning, Quentin E. Ross, Alan F. Blumberg, and Douglas G. Heimbuch

doi: https://doi.org/10.47886/9781888569827.ch15

Abstract.—Our objectives were to determine if striped bass Morone saxatilis larvae were present in the East River and if so, could they have come from the Hudson River. To meet the first objective, we examined entrainment data collected at the Charles Poletti Power Plant (Poletti) during the years 1999 through 2002. To meet the second objective, we examined the simulated release of 168,000 neutrally buoyant, passive particles in the lower Hudson River Estuary, using a particle-tracking model that was linked to an estuarine circulation model. We also compared the abundance of striped bass post-yolk-sac larvae (PYSL) collected in the East River at Poletti with the abundance of striped bass PYSL collected in the Battery region of the lower Hudson River Estuary and the abundance of striped bass PYSL in the Battery region with freshwater flow in the estuary. Striped bass PYSL were collected by entrainment sampling in the East River at Poletti every year from 1999 through 2002. The striped bass PYSL in the East River probably came from the Hudson River Estuary because the median probability that neutrally buoyant, passive particles would be transported from the lower Hudson River Estuary to the upper East River and western Long Island Sound was 0.12, with a median transport time of 2 d, and because the mean density of striped bass PYSL was highest at Poletti and in the Battery region during the same year. The abundance of striped bass PYSL in the Battery region was higher when freshwater flow during May and early June was higher.