River herring come in two varieties -- blueback and alewife -- and are important fish in the ecology of both the river and ocean. Their numbers have been plummeting in many rivers up and down the East Coast, including -- most likely (data is scarce) on the Hudson. These fish are small and used to reproduce in huge numbers in most tributaries of the river; damming and other habitat loss, pollution and overfishing for food and bait (herring are popular bait fish for striped bass anglers) are likely contributing to their decline. Like many other species important to the Hudson, herring spend most of their lives in the ocean, but spawn in the river each spring.
Black Creek has traditionally been one of the best tributaries for catching herring -- but in recent years, local fishermen have reported that the spawning run has declined or disappeared.
Now to the volunteer opportunity. The following is from the Department of Environmental Conservation:
NYSDEC's Hudson River Estuary Program and Hudson River Fisheries Unit has initiated a volunteer-based river herring monitoring program during the annual migration of river herring from the ocean into freshwater tributaries to spawn.
We are looking for volunteers to monitor streams from now until 5/31. Monitoring involves looking to see if, where, and when herring spawning runs exist on these tributaries. Each volunteer will conduct visual
observations at least twice a week for 15 minutes at a site close to their town. Training is provided, no experience necessary. For more information on the program, please visit the website! . If you are interested in participating or would like to attend a training, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (845)256-3182.
- (Albany County) Coeymans Creek, Vloman Kill
- (Columbia County) Stockport Creek, Mill Creek
- (Dutchess County) Fallkill, Wappinger Creek, Crum Elbow Creek
- (Orange County) Moodna, Quassaick Creek
- (Ulster County) Black Creek
- (Westchester County) Croton River
- (Rockland County) Minisceongo Creek, Sparkill Creek