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September Seining Results

CURB hosted a total of 13 seining sessions during the month of September. These were comprised of school groups, Saturday public programs, and intern trainings. Here are some stats from this past month:

  • 86 – The number of times the seine net was hauled. 58 of these were in the river, and 28 in our marsh.
  • 2,596 – The total number of animals caught and released in September. This breaks our all-time record for the month (2005 – 2019). The previous record was 2,009 in 2016. This is also our 2nd highest monthly total ever. The current record is 4,467 from July of last year. 
  • 19 – The number of different species caught in September.
  • 1,614 – The total catch of moon jellies for September. This was our highest species total for the month. Atlantic silversides were second with 551 caught. We currently stand at 1,666 moon jellies for the season. This is second behind our all-time high of 3,717 in 2018.

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September’s high overall count has turned around what was a relatively slow season. Here are the 2019 monthly catch totals including where they rank for the last 15 years:

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As you can see, April through July all saw monthly totals below our 15-year average. This trend continued into August, until the last week of the month which had much higher catches. The April through July total count of 1,268 ranked 12th out of 15 years.

Diving further into this turnaround, we broke down the season into two parts in the chart below:

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Taking a look at the data shows us that nearly 60% of our seasonal catch has been collected during the last 30 days. This was accomplished in just 14 programs. Another thing to note is that the salinity (amount of salt in the water) ran much higher during this timeframe than earlier in the season. This higher salinity corresponded with a surge in the count of moon jellies. In fact we caught 1,665 moon jellies at salinities of 8 ppt or above, and just 1 at salinities below 8 ppt.

Our salinity readings have been a bit higher than we are used to at this time of the year. This is likely due to the very dry conditions that we are experiencing. Central Park, NY recorded just 0.95 inches of rain during the month of September. The normal rainfall is 4.28 inches. This makes September 2019 the 9th driest September since record keeping began in 1869 (National Weather Service).

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Looking ahead to the final month or so of the season, weather conditions are expected to remain warmer and dryer than normal in the near term. This will likely result in good catches for the next few weeks. Should things eventually cool down, we may start to see counts taper off as we progress through October. We generally wrap up the season in early November. This season’s catch total of 4,729 is currently ranked 6th out of 15 seasons for final count. There is the potential to finish somewhere between 3rd to 5th place depending on how things play out in the next month.

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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.