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Research: Fish Ecology

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This project is based on an 18-year database of inshore fishes of a west side waterfront study area centered at Pier 26. The study area supports numerous and diverse species of fishes, including sea horses, striped bass, flatfishes, black sea bass, tomcod, and rock gunnels, to name a few of the 49 species documented here to date. Traps are deployed off the docks and pilings of the pier. The study includes a survey of the local fishes; documentation of parameters affecting fish distribution, such as temperature, salinity, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, nitrite, nitrate, plankton, and fish eggs and larvae; life cycle studies; and behavioral observations of feeding, inter- and intra-species relationships, and spawning.

Started at The River Project's Pier 26 home, a total of about 50 killie and crab traps were set strategically in three locations along the shoreline at Pier 26. These traps were checked by interns in the Marine Biology Internship Program (MBIP), volunteers, field trip participants and TRP staff. All vertebrate and specific invertebrate marine life caught were identified, measured, recorded and set back into the river or kept as a part of the Estuarium Exhibit (all animals were released back to the Hudson before the winter). The data recorded, is available to be used by The River Project's Marine Biology Internship Project interns for research projects and other collaborative researcher efforts on fish ecology.

At Pier 40, our current location, The River Project has set about 20 killie and crab traps along the north side of Pier 40 on the Steamer "Lilac". The ship moves up and down with the tide, so the traps remain at bottom for the same duration each 24 hour period, or tidal cycle. All traps are checked a minimum of two times per week by current TRP interns, field trip participants and TRP staff.

Many thanks to Dr. John Waldman, Professor of Biology, Queens College; Paul Sieswerda, Curator, New York Aquarium; Kerry Dawson and Noreen Doyle at Hudson River Park Trust and TRP Board member, for their assistance with this research project.

For a complete list of all species caught at The River Project please visit our Fish of the Tribeca Waterfront page.