A Riverine Surprise

A beach near the cabin, in Croton, allows us to not only admire the beauty of the Hudson but to actually submerge our bodies in it once in a while. So the following, from one of my favorite e-newsletters, Hudson River Almanac (hrep@gw.dec.state.ny.us), gave me pause:

“John Plass, an angler – while fishing for striped bass – caught a 17-inch-long Atlantic needlefish…

“Natural selection designed the Atlantic needlefish to be the consummate predator. They are sight-feeders with over 20% of their adult length taken up by slender, tooth-studded jaws. Adults can reach nearly two feet in length and will frequently leap out of the water in pursuit of prey. Known more as a temperate to tropical marine species, their presence in the Hudson went largely unnoticed until about 25 years ago. They seem to have adapted well; since larval needlefish have been captured more than 50 miles upriver, it is likely that they are spawning in the estuary. In July 2009, Chris Bowser and Brittany Burgio seined up a three-inch Atlantic needlefish at river mile 85 (Norrie Point). A needlefish oddity occurs when you cook them: They are delicious smoked, and their bones turn Kelly green.

“Tom Lake. Photo by Chris Bowser.”

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Filed under Jean Zimmerman, Nature

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