Great Fish Count Nets Huge Number of Sea Creatures
Blue crabs netted in the Hudson River. Image: Sarah Fecht
Families from all over the five boroughs of New York City came out for the Great Fish Count on Saturday. More than 1600 people stopped by to help out with this annual survey of biodiversity in New York City's waterways.
At Fort Washington Park, just south of the George Washington Bridge, a team from Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory deployed nets and identified the fish they scooped up. Amidst all the flopping fish and splashing around, kids and their parents learned about the ecology and industrial history of the Hudson River.
At its 18 sites across the city, this year's Great Fish Count netted more than 840 fish, representing 24 different species. Small schooling feeder fish such as bay anchovy and Atlantic silverside made up the bulk of the catch, which is no surprise, said Margie Turrin, Lamont-Doherty education coordinator.
But there were some surprises as well — there always are. Four new species were added to the Fish Count list, including northern pufferfish, naked goby, bluegill, and golden shiner.
You can meet a few of the fish in the slideshow below. All were released back into the waterways after the survey.
The Great Fish Count is part of the World Science Festival, with support from Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
Image Carousel with 8 slides
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Slide 1: Wearing waders, kids help to carry the net (called a seine) into the water. Photo: Sarah Fecht
Slide 2: After the kids drop the seine in the water, Lamont-Doherty education coordinator Margie Turrin and education program assistant Laurel Zaima drag the net through the water, catching fish in a pocket at the center of the seine. Photo: Sarah Fecht
Slide 3: Once the net is back on land, thereâs a mad scramble to pick up all the fish, crabs, and shrimp and get them safely into buckets of water. Photo: Sarah Fecht
Slide 4: The kids help to pick up the seine after its emptied. Theyâre ready to go back out, but first letâs identify some of what we caught. Photo: Sarah Fecht
Slide 5: Turrin shows off a summer flounder. Photo: Sarah Fecht
Slide 6: A close-up of the summer flounder. Although it was born with eyes on either side of its face like a normal fish, one eye later migrated to join the other on one side of the face. A helpful adaptation, since the fish lives flat against the river botto
Slide 7: Bay anchovy â a common fish in this area. You can recognize them by their âbig eyes and smiley mouths,â says Zaima. Photo: Sarah Fecht
Slide 8: A northern pufferfish, pulled in at Kaiser Park beach in Coney Island. Photo: Luis Gonzales