Fish, Crab and Macroinvertebrate Guides

The Hudson River is full of a wide variety of fish and macroinvertebrates. Of course certain fish and certain macros will prefer different types of environments such as:

  • Some species prefer freshwater, some are more marine species hopin for salty water and some look for a blend of fresh and salt called brackish water 
  • Some species like underwater plant beds called 'submerged aquatic vegetation’, some open water
  • Some species prefer a soft muddy bototm, others a sandy bottom and still other like a rocky, cobbly bottom
  • Some species look for a deep, cool, fast-flowing water while others look for shallow, warmer slow moving sections of water

Some species prefer different environments at different times of the year, or in different stages of their lives. Identifying the different type of fish (diversity) and the number of each (density) in each area and catch (seine, minnow cage, rod and reel) provides a picture of the marine life inhabits each area of the river.

    Inwood Minnow

    Student in Inwood Park sets a minnow trap to collect small fish found in this part of the Hudson. This marshy muddy inlet is the perfect habitat for small schooling fish called mummichogs (a native name that translates to going in crowds).

    Fish & Macro Identification Resources

    A short video that features two Hudson River species with very cool adaptations! A great way to practice using the Clearwater Dichotomous Key! Digital version link.

    A simple instructional video on how to seine effectively with your students. 

    The Clearwater Guide To Common Hudson River Fishes Book is a simple dichotomous key & has educator discounts. Copies of the book can be order on the Clearwater's website. We suggest you also try the digital version with your students! The online key is a wonderful resource for classroom preparation!

    A set of saltwater fish photos compiled by our DEC colleagues in Long Island. 

    Some of our watershed fish are challenging to identify, especially when they are young. This supplementary guide has images and tips with I.D. details to help you! Print and laminate a copy or two to take to the river. 




    Seaweed is a common habitat for our macros and invertebrates.