Hudson River Fishes and their Environment

Overview of Hudson River Recreational Fisheries, with an Emphasis on Striped Bass

E. Terry Euston, Susan A. Haney, Kathryn A. Hattala, and Andrew W. Kahnle


Abstract.—Recreational fishing throughout the Hudson River estuary from the federal dam at Troy (river kilometer [rkm] 243) to the George Washington Bridge (rkm 19) was investigated during March 2001 through March 2002. Aerial counting surveys and angler interviews at nearly 200 access points were used to estimate fishing pressure, catch and harvest, catch rates, and various angler attributes. Fishing pressure for the mid-March through November period was estimated at 446,621 angler-hours. Most effort occurred in the late spring by anglers north of the Bear Mountain Bridge (rkm 74). Angling from boats comprised 72.6% of total effort. The total number of fish caught and harvested was estimated at 212,426 and 44,479 individuals, respectively, representing 31 species plus blue crab Callinectes sapidus. Most of the total catch was by boat anglers, although over the entire survey period shore anglers harvested the most fish. In sequence, striped bass Morone saxatilis, river herring Alosa spp., and white perch M. americana were the three most abundant species caught, whereas river herring, white perch, blue crab, and striped bass formed most of the harvest. Catch per unit effort (CPUE) and harvest per unit effort (HPUE) of shore anglers (0.69 fish/h and 0.22 fish/h) were higher than that of boat anglers (0.44 fish/h and 0.02 fish/h). Most anglers throughout spring sought striped bass, whereas during summer and fall boat anglers sought primarily black bass Micropterus spp., with much effort occurring during tournaments. Shore anglers were less focused and sought a broader variety of species. As a group, anglers fishing south of the Bear Mountain Bridge were less aware of fish consumption advisories due to contaminants than anglers fishing elsewhere in the estuary.