Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Sturgeon and the Bridge

In the 18th century, the term "Albany beef" was coined for sturgeon. Up until the 20th century, the large, almost prehistoric looking creatures were regularly fished, and their flesh consumed as food.

Today, both the Atlantic sturgeon, the largest fish in the Hudson and the icon of the Hudson River Estuary Program, and the shortnose sturgeon, which is particularly associated with Hudson and the North Bay, are both federally protected endangered species. 

Recently, Riverkeeper raised the alarm that concurrent with the construction of the new Tappan Zee Bridge there has been a dramatic rise in the mortality rate of both Atlantic sturgeon and shortnose sturgeon. Click here to learn more about the threat to Hudson River sturgeon and what you can do to help protect them.


  1. It was Riverkeeper that raised awareness about this issue, and it was probably Riverkeeper that got the National Marine Fisheries Service to reconsider the project.

    It's a major thing for a federal agency to have second thoughts about something of this magnitude, so even if you only enjoy imagining that these enormous fish are beneath our river, write that down for the Feds in a quick note via the Riverkeeper webpage.

    It does help. And because so few people ever comment, the few that are submitted carry a ridiculous amount of weight.

    I once wrote a very brief but complaining comment to the US Fish and Wildlife Service in which I still attempted some humor. Later I learned that my comment was incorporated into a PowerPoint presentation which was attended by the Secretary of the Interior.

    (In this case, NMFS is under NOAA which is under the Department of Commerce.)