Research: Fish EcologY Survey
This project is based on an 25+ year database of inshore fishes of a West side waterfront study area centered at Pier 25/26. The study area supports numerous and diverse species of fishes, including sea horses, oyster toadfish, striped bass, flatfishes, black sea bass, blackfish, and feather blennies, to name a few of the 52 species documented to date. Traps are deployed off the steamship Lilac, moored to 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, now at the Lilac on Pier 25, a total of about 25 killie and crab traps are set strategically along the historic steamship. 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 1-5 times per week depending on the season by TRP interns, field trip participants, and TRP staff. All vertebrate and specific invertebrate marine life caught are identified, measured, recorded and either returned to the river or kept as a part of the Estuarium Exhibit (all animals are 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, other local, collaborative researcher efforts on fish ecology, and is additionally reported weekly to the NYSDEC.
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 members, and Captain Mary Habstritt of the Lilac 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.