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2019 Seining Season - Catch Results

One of CURB’s most popular programs is “Catch of the Day” seining. This is where we take students into the Hudson River with waders and a 30ft seine net to catch and release various fish, shrimp, crabs, and other Hudson River marine species. For the 2019 season, CURB hosted 100 seining programs made up of school field trips, Saturday family programs, intern trainings, and more. Our season began on April 24th and wrapped up on November 6th. Not only is seining an excellent hands on experience for our students, it’s also an opportunity to collect data on the biodiversity of the Hudson River. We thought that this would be a great time to summarize our findings. Here are some of the key data points:

  • Our seine net was hauled a total of 808 times spread over 100 seining programs.
  • The total catch for the season was 7,952 Hudson River animals. This was down from last year’s catch of 9,962 (107 programs).
  • While our total catch dropped from last year, it still ranked as the 3rd largest total ever for our site (2005 – 2019). Our average yearly catch is 4,726.
  • It was a tale of two seasons with our April – July catch of 1,268 (493 seines) being the 4th lowest all time. This however would change in a big way with our August – November catch of 6,684 (315 seines) being the most ever for that timeframe. Our average catch per seine total for April – July was 2.6. This increased to 21.2 for August – November.

Running Total of Seasonal Catches

Much like last year, we started off slow and saw a dramatic increase in totals during the second half of the season. This was once again heavily driven by a surge in the number of moon jellies. We caught a total of 4,079 moon jellies during the 2019 season (99% of them in September and October). This is the most ever for our location. Our previous record was 3,717 (2018). For the last 2 years combined, we caught 7,796 moon jellies. Previously, from 2005 – 2017 we caught a combined total of 3,435 moon jellies. Here is a chart of all of our catches from the 2019 season when compared to 2018 as well as our seasonal average:

Catch Table

Some of the species that stand out are:

  • Atlantic Silverside – Our silverside catch decreased from 2,844 in 2018 to 1,262 this season. Still, the 2019 total was well above our 15-year average of 851 silversides per season.
  • Blue Crab - We doubled our catch of blue crabs from 487 in 2018 to 892 in 2019.
  • Shrimp - There was a modest drop-off in the number of shrimp (grass & sand) caught. We finished the season with 481 shrimp, which is about half of our seasonal average of 920.
  • Striped Bass - We saw a major reduction in the striped bass catch, from 708 in 2018 to just 108 in 2019. Our 15-year average is 281. This was the lowest striped bass count for any season.
  • 2019 saw 5 first-time catches: Asian shore crab, emerald sea slug, hydromedusae, inshore lizardfish, oyster.

Here is a look at our data when compared to water quality parameters:

Water Parameters

Complete seining data from this season, as well as archived data dating back to 2005, may be be found on the seining page of our website. There you will also find this winter’s live catch data from our staff seining sessions.