Contributed by Scott Wells, Posted 12/9/21: For a seventh straight year, DEC’s Region 4 Fisheries organized a group effort in support of this growing outreach event despite the ongoing pandemic. After an off year in 2020, we assembled 15 staff from seven different programs in 2021. River sampling was conducted at three different locations over a 36-mile span in the upper estuary using a total of 14 staff crewing R4’s electrofishing boat near Troy, Coeymans, and Hudson, NY. Over 300 fish comprising 28 species were captured in <2 hours of boat shocking on Oct 13.
For gameday (Oct 14) our team of combined forces with faculty, staff, and parents to educate students on the various topics of river ecology like testing water quality, handling fish and proper ID to species, shoreline seining, and answering a slew of questions. Youth also learned how we backpack shock fishes on foot at one outlier site (Schoharie Creek). Word came back fast from teaches on how great it was to have extra staff and live river fishes for their respective school groups. We all were very thankful for the extended warm/dry spell last week.
Due to various issues like travel, there was less participation this year, though Team Stamford was able to reach all but two of the 11 river stations in 2021 (328 students). On average there were some 36 students per station in DEC Region 4, accounting for ~15% of all student participants (~2750) riverwide. Thanks to all our dedicated staff and volunteers, it was another very successful outreach event though we really needed at least five other fish-savvy staff to help at river stations. Hopefully, with more participation in coming events, we can inch closer to a better appreciation and understanding of the dynamic Hudson River watershed.