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CURB's 2018 School Program Seining Season - Final Results

CURB's staff of educators recently wrapped up another busy season of seining school programs. In terms of total catch, this was a record year for our site with nearly 10,000 critters caught and released from our seine net. The season kicked off on April 22nd and wrapped up on November 7th after a total of 107 trips out to the Hudson River. Here are a few highlights from the season:

  • Our final catch total for the season was 9,962, spread out over 107 seining trips. This was ahead of our previous all-time high of 9,053 caught in 2010 (103 seining trips). For perspective, during the last 3 years we caught: 4,461 (92 trips) in 2015, 5,617 (101 trips) in 2016, and 5,888 (112 trips) in 2017. 
  • While this seems like a super productive catch when compared to previous years, it must be noted that it was heavily bloated by the catches of both moon jellies and Atlantic silversides. In fact, they accounted for almost 66% of our total catch.

 We saw record catches for the following – 

  • 3,717 moon jellies, which was more than the last 13 years combined (3,435 from 2005 – 2017).
  • 2,844 Atlantic silversides, which was nearly a thousand more than our previous high of 1,885 in 2010.
  • 708 striped bass were caught. Our previous high was 484 in 2015.
  • 646 mummichogs were caught. Our previous high was 381 in 2009.
  • 547 herring were caught, beating our previous high of 77 in 2006. This number consisted of 459 blueback herring, 59 Atlantic menhaden, 21 alewife, 8 Atlantic herring. 

Along with the record catches listed above, we saw some notable declines as well: 

  • 613 shrimp, down from last year’s 1,772 caught, and 13-year average of 977.
  • 487 blue crabs, down from last year’s 1,036 caught, and 13-year average of 654.
  • 156 comb jellies, down from last year’s 846 caught, and 13-year average of 365.
  • 98 white perch, down from last year’s 167 caught, and 13-year average of 115.
  • 32 American eels, down from last year’s 78 caught, and 13-year average of 55.

Some other interesting statistics: 

  • July was a record month with a total catch of 4,467. This total was more than the overall catch of 9 of 13 our seasons. The previous monthly high was 2,024 in August of 2010.
  • The period of 7/21 – 7/31 saw a catch of 3,491, or 35% of our total catch for the season.
  • However, the first 3 months of this season (April – June) had the lowest combined total of any of our seasons for that timeframe with just 560 caught. This was before the drastic turnaround in July. 

Catch in relation to water parameters:

  • When the salinity was below 8ppt, we caught a total of 2,909 in 55 programs. When the salinity was 8ppt or above, we caught 7,053 in 51 programs.
  • When the water temperature was below 75F, we caught 2,813 in 61 programs. When the water temperature was 75 or above, we caught 7,149 in 46 programs.
  • Combining the two to look at instances when the salinity was above 8ppt and the water temperature was above 75F at the same time: 6,246 was caught over 32 of these instances. In all 75 other cases, there was just a total of 3,716 caught.
  • Lastly, there was a very clear correlation between the salinity and number of moon jellies caught. For salinities below 8ppt, we caught 61 moon jellies over 56 programs. When the salinity was above 8ppt, we caught 3,656 moon jellies over 41 programs.

We hope to release a more detailed report this spring. Please check out our seining page for last year's Seining Data Report, as well as complete data from 2005 - 2018.