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July Seining Data

July was a record setting month for CURB's Hudson River seining programs. We caught and released 4,467 organisms, which is the most ever for a single month at our site (2005 - 2018). The previous monthly record was 2,024 during August of 2010. This was after a quiet spring in which we caught just 560 organisms from April - June, our lowest catch all-time. The total of 4,467 for month of July was higher than the seasonal total of 9 of our seining seasons.


Seasonal Seining Running Total


It was quite a turnaround in July and as a result our total count now stands at 5,027 organisms, which is our highest count ever for the first 4 months of the season. The previous record was 4,013 in 2010. We have already reached the 5th highest total all-time for a full season.


Seasonal Seining Totals 

What makes this July even more remarkable is that much of the catch came during the last third of the month. From July 1st - 19th we caught 600 organisms, which would be a good number during a normal year. However, from July 20th - 31st we caught 3,867! Yes that is 3,867 organisms in 12 days, far and away the most we have ever caught in that short of a timeframe. 


Monthly Total Catch


While we saw an increase in several species, none was more pronounced than that of the moon jelly. For the season we have now caught a total of 2,542 moon jelies (50.6% of our catch), which is well above our previous seasonal high of 927 in 2010. This is with the second half of our season still to come.


Moon Jelly Catch 


Additionally, we saw a large increase in the number of herring during July. For the season we've caught 514 herring, many of which are blueback herring. Our previous high mark was 77 in 2006. Another impressive catch is 1,181 Atlantic silversides. Our 13 year seasonal average for silversides is 666 so we have easily surpassed that with a few months to go.


Total Catch


Once we get to the end of the season we'll be able to dig into the data more and see if there is anything that might have resulted in this large uptick in our catch. One thing to note is that the salinity was running a bit higher than usual thanks to a relatively hot and dry 2nd half of June through 1st half of July. From June 15th through July 31st the salinity averaged 12.1ppt, peaking at 15.5ppt on July 14th. Perhaps this was responsible for the high totals in some of our marine species like the herring and moon jellies. However, the last couple of weeks have been very wet and the salinity is now dropping off (7.5ppt on 8/3) so we'll see if we notice any differences in our catch moving forward.

All of our data from 2005 - 2018 is accessible on our seining page.