Header_Shadow.gif (28927 bytes)

NewBass_box.jpg (6550 bytes) Conservation Issues

 

 

Origins of the Hudson River Fishermen’s
Association History

Bob Boyle wasn’t the only notable early pioneer of

the HRFA. The following is an excerpt from the SUNY

College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Feinstone Environmental Awards program in 1980.

Arthur Glowka

ARTHUR GLOWKA has used his scientific and

ecological knowledge as a volunteer to muster citizen

support for environmental protection in the Hudson

River and Long Island Sound for nearly 20 years. A

classic activist, he is a founding director of the Hudson

River Fisherman's Association, and has led that organization

in many projects. Among their accomplishments

are stopping the mass slaughter of striped bass by the

first Indian Point nuclear power plant, and exposing the

cover-up attempts of the fish kills by a utility and a state

agency; resurrecting the Federal Refuse Act of 1899;

stopping the Storm King pumping project on environmental

grounds; forcing the New York National Guard

to restore a Hudson River marsh it was filling for a parking

lot; using for the first time the Freedom of

Information Act to uncover polluters; and bringing the

legal action in the case of PCB pollution in the Hudson

River. Glowka is a recognized citizen expert serving

many organizations, and is president of the Long Island

Sound Taskforce of the Oceanic Society. He has written

many articles and made many public appearances communicating

the importance of volunteering, and created

the "Bag-A-Polluter" campaign that furnishes postpaid

cards for citizens to use in reporting pollution cases.

From Boyle’s Book: (Concerning oil spewing from a

Penn Central pipe in Croton-on-Hudson) “ What can be

done? There are several things. For one, there is public

pressure, and Art Glowka (an Easter Airlines Pilot) has

thought of a very effective way to mount public interest

in stopping pollution. He designed pre-paid “Bag-APolluter”

postcards. The card notes the New York Harbor

Act of 1888 and points out that the person who reports a

convicted violator may collect up to $1,250 as a reward.

The cards have a simple entry form where a person can

write the name of the polluter, kind of pollution, time and

date, and any adverse effects noted. The Hudson River

Fishermen’s Association has printed ten thousand Bag-

A-Polluter cards and given them out free up and down

the Hudson Valley…”

The Hudson River a Natural and Unnatural History by

Robert H. Boyle, W.W. Norton Inc. New York 1968. Over

the next few months I will be chronicling the origins and

history of our organization.

Gil Hawkins~~~<^><…

 

 

 

 

www.Striperchum.com

 

 

Previous years' news...

 

New York State Legislature has introduced bills to prohibit commercial fishing in the Hudson River 2-2010

 

New Tags in Hudson River Striped Bass  $20 Reward  Oct 2009

 

Dredging of the Hudson River Begins May 2009

 

Corzine triples offshore wind goals

October 2008

Fish Diversity Falling in the Hudson River

May 15, 2008

NJ Public Trust Doctrin gets Boost From

Gov. Corzine   June-2007

 

NJ Reef Bill Passes out of Committee   May-2007

 

PCB Detoxifying Bacterior Found  March-2007

Perhaps an alternative to dredging?

 

Clean Ocean Zone ...NO OFFSHORE DRILLING for NJ

Clean Ocean Action Works to get legislation passed

Federal Judge OK's Dredging Deal

11/2006

Hudson Cleanup Plans Near Completion; EPA Releases Community Health & Safety Plan

6/2006

U.S. Seeks Court Approval on Dredging Agreement with GE

6/2006

Top

NJ DEP Fish Consumption Advisories 2006

Eat Fish--Eat Smart

9/14/2005 NJ Winter Flounder Season 2005 Cancelled!

HRFA Recieves ALS Highest Award 10/24/2005

 

Electronic Fish Tag   Fish name: Henry Hudson

NJ Fish and Game

NJ Marine Fishing Regulations

RFA

Recreational Fishing Alliance

NJ Marine Sportfish Records

NJ Freshwater Fishing Records

On Line Freshwater Fishing License

Where to Fish in NJ

NY State Re-opening commercial striped bass fishing in the Hudson River

NY State Marine Fishing Regulations

December 6, 2000 EPA Renders Decision to Dredge Hudson River of PCBs

Dec 6, 2000

NY Attorney General Supports EPA Dredging

History of PCBs in the Hudson

EPA Public Hearing on Dredging March 7, 2001

Report a Polluter

Bush Administration Appoints G.E. top Lawyer to White House

The Case Against G.E.

Whitman Supports Plan! Clean Up the Hudson!

August 1, 2001

R.F.A Calls for Mandatory Circle Hooks

8/28/01

Monsanto PCBs

19,000 PPM found in Alabama Hogs

January 1, 2002

Monsanto Hid Decades of PCBs

January 6, 2002

Harrison Ford to Patrol the Hudson

 
 
Salt Contents of the Hudson River.

How far north is the salt line?

The importance of Menhaden  ... Bunker ... More than just bait
NJ Legislators Who's yours?     Find out here!

 

Old News...

 

 

Striped Bass, the Hudson River and the HRFA:  A brief overview and update

Many members are aware of the club’s history with Striped Bass conservation.  We have along history and active history working with others and sometimes standing alone to be good stewards of the Hudson River and its natural resources.  Here is the latest opportunity.

The New York State Legislature has introduced bills to prohibit commercial fishing in the Hudson River north of the George Washington Bridge.    Assembly bill, A4112, effectively making it a game fish  has already passed..  S4948, the Senate version of this bill, is coming up for a hearing before the Environmental Conservation Committee on Feb. 23.  The bill is sponsored by Senator Antoine M. Thompson, the Chairman of the committee.  

Striped Bass Migration Patterns

Migrationbass.jpg (15549 bytes)

 

Why is this important? 

The Hudson is the second largest spawning ground for striped bass; keeping it free from the pressures of commercial gill netting is vital to the health of the striper population.   Remember that in the late 70’s/early 80’s the coastal Striper population crashed to the point where the striper was going to be put on the endangered species list.  During this time commercial fishing was to be prohibited due to PCB contamination.    

The Hudson River Estuary was and continues to be a key contributor to the coastal Striper population.  We worked hard to give the Striper game fish status in New Jersey. 

We continue to support clean water in the Hudson River and the Hudson River Estuary.  

We all need to get behind this bill now to make sure it takes effect.

What can you do to help?    If you are a NY State resident, please call and write or e-mail your state Senator and tell them that you want their support for S4948, the bill to protect Hudson River striped bass from the pressures of commercial fishing.  You should also send a copy of your e-mail or letter to all Senators on the Environmental Conservation committee.  If you are not a NY State resident write or e-mail the Senators on the Environmental Conservation committee, tell them about the importance of the Hudson River Striper.   If you fish the River, remind them about the recreational dollars you contribute to NY State, thanks to the Striped Bass.  Information links are as follows:   

For NY residents to find their State Senator:   http://www.nysenate.gov/    

To find the members of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee: http://www.nysenate.gov/committee/environmental-conservation

 

Thanks for listening…. Sergio Radossi  HRFA

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 16, 2009 New Tags in Hudson River Striped Bass

 

Hi Chas,

Last week I had Dave Secore from the university of maryland out. he is working on a project funded by the hudson river foundation. they implanted 40 striped bass up to 37" with electronic transmitters that will help determine migration patterns.

these fish can be identified by a green tag in there back. there is a $20.00 reward for the return of one of these tags.

however Dave urges anyone who catches one of these fish to release it unharmed as these transmitters are very expensive and the information they gather while they are at large will benefit everyone.

thanks Chas

the fish in the tank are under medication don't be alarmed

Ralph_Roth_Tagging.jpg (22870 bytes)

 

 

 

 

 

Corzine triples offshore wind goals

October 7, 2008

By Sandy Bauers

Inquirer Staff Writer

Gov. Corzine yesterday committed to tripling the state's offshore wind goals, calling for enough capacity in 2020 to power 800,000 homes - or 13 percent of the state's energy needs, he said.

Previously, his draft energy master plan called for 1,000 megawatts of wind power by 2020. Yesterday, he called for that goal to be met by 2012, and set a new one of 3,000 megawatts for eight years after that.

Corzine also opened the door a little wider for the two companies that lost their bid on Friday to get a $19 million grant from the state Board of Public Utilities to build an offshore wind farm.

On Friday, the BPU voted to give $4 million - all that was requested - to the $1 billion project proposed by Garden State Offshore Wind, a venture between PSEG Renewable Generation and Hoboken-based Deepwater Wind.

Company spokesman Paul Rosengren said then that the value of the grant wasn't so much the money as it was the cachet of the state endorsement, which he expected to smooth a complex permitting process.

Yesterday, Corzine invited the other companies - Bluewater Wind and Fishermen's Energy of New Jersey L.L.C., a corsortium of commercial fishermen - to work with his office, the BPU and the state Department of Environmental Protection to develop their projects.

He encouraged them and others "to bring all ideas to the table."

PSEG's chief executive Ralph Izzo praised the governor's goal, saying it "makes us all realize we're participating not in the initiation of a project, but in the creation of an industry. Namely, the offshore wind industry."

He said it would "create a critical mass of talent and capital."

Representatives of both Bluewater and Fishermen's Energy said they were eager to move forward.

"We welcome the oppportunity to be a partner with the state," said Jim Lanard, Bluewater's head of strategic planning.

Many environmental groups have supported New Jersey's expansion in solar power. The Garden State ranks second in the United States in the amount installed.

Yesterday, Dena Mottola Jaborska, executive director of Environment New Jersey, called the governor's offshore wind plan "the most aggressive . . . in the nation."

Two other states - Rhode Island and Delaware - have announced offshore wind projects, but none has goals matching New Jersey's, according to state officials and environmental groups.

However, Tim Dillingham, executive director of the American Littoral Society in Sandy Hook and a critic of offshore wind, said he was worried the fervor would overwhelm environmental considerations associated with "putting industrial structures in the ocean."

Although the technology is advancing, the scale of the wind farm approved Friday - 96 turbines with 350 megawatts of capacity - suggests that about 800 wind turbines could be erected offshore.

The DEP is in the midst of an environmental impact study, not expected to be completed until next year.

"The governor is setting a very aggressive goal that people are going to hold him to, and that the BPU is going to direct money toward," Dillingham said. "So once they start down this path, the environmental impact studies will play less of a role than they should."

 

Thursday, May 15, 2008

BY JIM FITZGERALD

ASSOCIATED PRESS

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- A study of 13 Hudson River fish species indicates 10 have declined since the mid-1970s, despite a significant improvement in the river's water quality.

One fish, the rainbow smelt, no longer shows up at all in the samplings, the report says.

It suggests a variety of causes, ranging from global warming to the invasion of the zebra mussel. But it also points a finger at five power plants that take in river water -- and millions of fish and fish eggs each year -- to cool their equipment.

"Even if the power companies are not the sole cause of degradation of the Hudson River fish community, the loss of such high proportions of the fish populations must be important," the report says.

The environmental group Riverkeeper, which commissioned the study from Pisces Conservation Ltd., a British consultant, released the study at a riverside news conference Thursday morning.

Riverkeeper has been trying for years to force power plants to upgrade their cooling systems to a closed-cycle type that would use 97 percent less river water. The group's president, Alex Matthiessen, said Wednesday that the Clean Water Act requires that such technology be updated and that he would call on the state Department of Environmental Conservation to enforce the requirement.

"Power plants have been slaughtering billions of fish each year," he said Thursday. "You have to try and address all the factors that are playing a role, and at the very least, you have to make sure that the various parties responsible are following the law."

Matthiessen said the study's findings surprised him.

"We've managed to improve the river over the last four decades. We thought it would only make sense that as the river became cleaner the ecosystem upon which the fish depend would become healthier," he said.

The biggest fish intake is at the Indian Point nuclear power plants in Buchanan. Jim Steets, a spokesman for plant owner Entergy Nuclear, disputed the study's findings.

"The Hudson River's fish population is healthy and abundant, and we've seen no connection between the operation of these plants and the adult fish population," he said.

Steets noted that environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy said in 2006 that the Hudson has more fish per acre than any other river in the country.

Steets said that by using screens, Indian Point safely returns most adult fish to the river. Most fish eggs are fated to die anyway, he said.

It's been known for some time that some Hudson species were not faring well. Overfishing and dam construction have been devastating the American shad for decades, and an annual shad festival on the Hudson was held without any shad on the menu this year.

But the cumulative nature of the new report -- which analyzes several surveys of young fish populations conducted by power companies as a requirement of their licenses -- is important, said Andy Kahnle of the DEC's Hudson River Fisheries unit.

"There's lots of different sampling techniques and different ways to interpret the data, but it's good to look into what's happening to some of the fish we don't hear a lot about," he said. "The findings change year to year, but certain species are definitely in decline."

Kahnle noted that several of the species, while down from their 1970s numbers, are up over the last several years. These include white perch, tomcod and bay anchovy. But the reasons for such increases aren't any better known than the reasons for the longer-term decreases, he said.

Kahnle also said some of the findings "have to be taken with a grain of salt."

Sampling the white perch population, for example, is difficult, as the species spends much of its life in weed beds, he said.

The other species reported in decline are the alewife, hogchoker, white catfish, weakfish and blueback herring.

The striped bass, bluefish and spottail shiner have increased their numbers, the study says.

The report found that the river's temperature, measured at Poughkeepsie, had risen 3.6 degrees since the 1960s, and some of the declining species are not tolerant of the higher temperatures, which help decrease dissolved oxygen in the water.

"Given the considerable efforts that have been taken to reduce organic pollution, and the great improvement in water quality in the vicinity of New York City, these declines in DO are disappointing," the report says.

Besides the 13 species studied, Matthiessen said several other Hudson residents are in trouble, including the American eel, the sturgeon and the smallmouth and largemouth bass.

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- A study of 13 Hudson River fish species indicates 10 have declined since the mid-1970s, despite a significant improvement in the river's water quality.

One fish, the rainbow smelt, no longer shows up at all in the samplings, the report says.

It suggests a variety of causes, ranging from global warming to the invasion of the zebra mussel. But it also points a finger at five power plants that take in river water -- and millions of fish and fish eggs each year -- to cool their equipment.

"Even if the power companies are not the sole cause of degradation of the Hudson River fish community, the loss of such high proportions of the fish populations must be important," the report says.

The environmental group Riverkeeper, which commissioned the study from Pisces Conservation Ltd., a British consultant, released the study at a riverside news conference Thursday morning.

Riverkeeper has been trying for years to force power plants to upgrade their cooling systems to a closed-cycle type that would use 97 percent less river water. The group's president, Alex Matthiessen, said Wednesday that the Clean Water Act requires that such technology be updated and that he would call on the state Department of Environmental Conservation to enforce the requirement.

"Power plants have been slaughtering billions of fish each year," he said Thursday. "You have to try and address all the factors that are playing a role, and at the very least, you have to make sure that the various parties responsible are following the law."

Matthiessen said the study's findings surprised him.

"We've managed to improve the river over the last four decades. We thought it would only make sense that as the river became cleaner the ecosystem upon which the fish depend would become healthier," he said.

The biggest fish intake is at the Indian Point nuclear power plants in Buchanan. Jim Steets, a spokesman for plant owner Entergy Nuclear, disputed the study's findings.

"The Hudson River's fish population is healthy and abundant, and we've seen no connection between the operation of these plants and the adult fish population," he said.

Steets noted that environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy said in 2006 that the Hudson has more fish per acre than any other river in the country.

Steets said that by using screens, Indian Point safely returns most adult fish to the river. Most fish eggs are fated to die anyway, he said.

It's been known for some time that some Hudson species were not faring well. Overfishing and dam construction have been devastating the American shad for decades, and an annual shad festival on the Hudson was held without any shad on the menu this year.

But the cumulative nature of the new report -- which analyzes several surveys of young fish populations conducted by power companies as a requirement of their licenses -- is important, said Andy Kahnle of the DEC's Hudson River Fisheries unit.

"There's lots of different sampling techniques and different ways to interpret the data, but it's good to look into what's happening to some of the fish we don't hear a lot about," he said. "The findings change year to year, but certain species are definitely in decline."

Kahnle noted that several of the species, while down from their 1970s numbers, are up over the last several years. These include white perch, tomcod and bay anchovy. But the reasons for such increases aren't any better known than the reasons for the longer-term decreases, he said.

Kahnle also said some of the findings "have to be taken with a grain of salt."

Sampling the white perch population, for example, is difficult, as the species spends much of its life in weed beds, he said.

The other species reported in decline are the alewife, hogchoker, white catfish, weakfish and blueback herring.

The striped bass, bluefish and spottail shiner have increased their numbers, the study says.

The report found that the river's temperature, measured at Poughkeepsie, had risen 3.6 degrees since the 1960s, and some of the declining species are not tolerant of the higher temperatures, which help decrease dissolved oxygen in the water.

"Given the considerable efforts that have been taken to reduce organic pollution, and the great improvement in water quality in the vicinity of New York City, these declines in DO are disappointing," the report says.

Besides the 13 species studied, Matthiessen said several other Hudson residents are in trouble, including the American eel, the sturgeon and the smallmouth and largemouth bass.

 

May 25, 2007
This from the RFA

 

 

Reef Bill Passes out of Committee

The New Jersey artificial reefs are one step closer to being cleared of fish traps and pots as a result of the committee hearing last Monday, May 21st. The Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee released Assembly Bill 3986, sponsored by Assemblyman Sean Kean by 4 votes in favor and 1 opposed in Trenton at Monday's hearing. Despite the large turn out by commercial fishing representatives, committee members were very receptive to the testimony provided by Assemblyman Sean Kean in support of his bill and the recreational fishing contingent, who were also in very strong support of A. 3986 and described the seriousness of this issue.. 

 

In recent years, New Jersey's Artificial Reefs have become overrun with fish pots and traps.  Once isolated to the northern most reefs, the rampant infiltration of this gear focused on artificial reefs has become a coast-wide problem affecting every reef in the Reef Program. New Jersey's Artificial Reef Program includes 15 reef areas; policy on the fish pots and traps are denying access to the reef by intended user groups-divers and hook line fishermen.   RFA brought this issue to the attention of Assemblyman Kean who in turn introduced A. 3986 to address this growing problem. 

 

John DePersenaire, Fisheries Researcher for the RFA attended the committee hearing and testified in support of A. 3986.  "The objectives and goals of the artificial reef grogram, approved by the Department of Environmental Protection in 2005, are clear in that the program will provide and enhance marine habitat, improve biodiversity and provide recreational opportunities for hook and line fishermen and divers" stated DePersenaire.  "The benefits of the reef program are to be spread 'among as many people as possible.' Having 40-50 potters dominate our reefs completely disregards the spirit and intent of the Reef Plan."

 

New Jersey's artificial reefs were specifically designed to be fished by hook and line fishermen who use relatively inefficient gear and can only spend a few hours at a given time fishing on a reef.  In contrast, fish pots and traps, once deployed, fish around the clock and remove fish at a rate that diminishes the benefits of the reefs.  The design of our reefs can simply not support the excessive effort of the pot and trap fishery currently focused on the reefs. 

 

"The Reef Plan, which underwent a transparent and public rulemaking process, was the product of input from commercial fishermen, recreational fishermen, environmental organizations, members and advisors of the NJ Marine Fisheries Council, as well as other numerous interested individuals," continues DePersenaire.  "The policy of the plan reflects the collective compromise of all these groups. There is absolutely no question the policies of the plan are for the benefit of the marine resources and hook and line fishermen."

 

"We are pleased to see that our decision to address this issue through legislation is being productive. Our experience with DEP and the Marine Fisheries Council has shown us that both bodies move entirely too slow to address a problem of this severity and RFA has been lobbying hard to get this issue resolved" says Jim Donofrio, RFA Executive Director.  "We are very appreciative to Assemblyman Sean Kean for working with us on this bill and his commitment to the recreational fishing community.  We will continue our lobbying efforts until this bill is signed into law."

 

 

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Federal judge OK's Hudson dredging deal  - 11-2006

UTICA - A federal judge approved the agreement between General Electric Co. and the Environmental Protection Agency on the first phase of Hudson River dredging Thursday.

U.S. District Judge David Hurd dismissed a challenge by the Town of Fort Edward, which had attempted to exert more local control over the long-delayed and controversial project.

GE discharged upwards of 1 million pounds of polychlorinated biphenyl oils into the upper Hudson River from capacitor manufacturing plants in Hudson Falls and Fort Edward, about 40 miles north of Albany. The plants stopped using PCBs in 1977, but the pollutant continues to contaminate fish, wildlife and the environment.

PCBs are suspected of causing cancer and other illnesses. People are exposed primarily by eating contaminated fish, and the state restricts or prohibits fishing in the Hudson because of PCBs.

General Electric, the EPA and environmental groups praised the judge's decision, which comes more than a year after the EPA and GE came to agreement on the first phase of dredging, which is to begin in 2008 and remove PCB-contaminated mud from the most contaminated part of the river, near
Fort Edward.

Dredging PCBs is seen as a way to remove the lingering source of PCBs to wildlife in the upper Hudson and downriver. Local residents have largely opposed the cleanup, while support is stronger downriver.

http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061102/NEWS01/61102012/1006
 

 

Clean Ocean Zone 1

 

Please join us to announce & celebrate the introduction of the Clean Ocean Zone legislation.
If you will attend, please RSVP to Kari Jermansen (732-872-0111 or outreach@cleanoceanaction.org).

 

SHORE CONGRESSMEN TO INTRODUCE LONG-AWAITED BILL TO PERMANENTLY PROTECT THE OCEAN

Ocean Advocates Rally to Launch National Legislative Campaign

 

 

WHO: Bill Champions US Representative Jim Saxton (NJ-R-3) and US Representative Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-D-6); Robert Matthies, Mayor of Seaside Park; invited elected officials; coalition members of Clean Ocean Action; representatives of organizations and businesses; citizens

 

WHAT: Citizens’ Rally and Press Conference to announce introduction of bill in the US House of Representatives; list of original bill co-sponsors (to date) will be announced

 

WHEN: Saturday, July 22, 2006, Citizens’ Rally – 10:30am, Press Conference – 11:00am, Reception following with light refreshments at Saw Mill Cafe

 

WHERE: On the boardwalk at the south end of Funtown Pier, Seaside Park (Stockton & Ocean Avenues); see directions below

 

PHOTO OPS: The Atlantic Ocean; crowded beach; elected officials & citizens; map and other visuals

 

 

Directions From the North and South:

Take Garden State Parkway to Exit 82 (Rt. 37 East).  Take Route 37 East toward Seaside Heights/Island Beach State Park.  Follow Route 37 East about seven miles over Tunney/Mathis bridge. After traffic light after bridge, bear right onto Route 35 South (following signs for Seaside Park/Island Beach State Park).  Get in left lane and follow left lane through short “S-like” turn.  Immediately after last curve (“Welcome to Seaside Park” sign), make a left at first “cut” into median crossing.  Cross over Rt. 35 North and proceed onto Lafayette Avenue.  Proceed two blocks east.  Make a left onto Ocean Avenue.  Proceed one block to metered parking lot on right, or metered street parking.  Rally/Press Conference is on the pier at the entrance to Funtown Pier on the oceanside.

 

Contacts:

Kari Jermansen, 732-872-0111 or 908-507-2549 (cell)

Keith Rella, 732-872-0111 or 732-966-0802 (cell)

Cindy Zipf, 732-872-0111 or 732-996-4613 or (cell)

Clean Ocean Action
PO Box 505, Sandy Hook
Highlands, NJ 07732
 
PH: 732-872-0111
Fax: 732-872-8041
www.cleanoceanaction.org

COA is a proud member of www.earthsharenj.org

 

 

 

 

 

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3/2/2006 PCB birds

 

Hudson River Birds to be Studied  3/2/2006

The Hudson River Natural Resource Trustees have released for public review
and comment a Draft Study Plan for an Avian Egg Injection Study.

Past and continuing discharges of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have
contaminated the natural resources of the Hudson River.  The Hudson River
Natural Resource Trustees – New York State, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, and the U.S. Department of the Interior – are conducting a
natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) to assess and restore those
natural resources injured by PCBs.

In 2002, the Trustees conducted an avian egg exposure preliminary
investigation for the Hudson River.  That preliminary investigation
revealed that of the eleven avian species tested, the highest PCB levels
were found in belted kingfisher and spotted sandpiper.

Based on the results of avian investigations conducted by the Trustees, and
considering factors such as the life histories of various Hudson River
avian species, avian toxicology, and the goals of the NRDA, the Trustees
determined that it was appropriate to conduct further investigations
focused on avian species.  Pursuant to that determination and to the Hudson
River NRDA Plan, the Trustees conducted a study of belted kingfisher,
spotted sandpiper and tree swallow in 2004 and 2005.  The Trustees further
proposed conducting an avian egg injection study.

Accordingly, the Trustees have developed this Draft Study Plan for an avian
egg injection experiment focused on Hudson River bird species.  As this
study will entail injury endpoints, the Trustees will perform a peer review
of the proposed study and are issuing this draft Study Plan for public
review and comment, in accordance with the Hudson River NRDA Plan.

The Trustees are interested in receiving feedback on this Draft Study Plan.
To facilitate this process, the Trustees are asking the public and the
party or parties responsible for the contamination to review this Draft
Study Plan and provide feedback on the proposed approach.  Comments should
be submitted by March 31, 2006.  These comments will help the Trustees plan
and conduct an assessment that is scientifically valid and cost effective
and that incorporates a broad array of perspectives. 

To that end, the Trustees request that you carefully consider this Draft Study Plan and
provide any comments you may have to Ms. Kathryn Jahn, U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service,,3817 Luker Road, Cortland, NY  13045, 607-753-9334,
kathryn_jahn@fws.gov.

2/27/2006

 

 

 

 

 

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HRFA Receives ALS Highest Award September 24, 2005

I am pleased to announce and give further details to the distinction that
was bestowed on the HRFA by the American Littoral Society on September 24
at the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission. The HRFA was the recipient of the
Graham Macmillan Award.  This is the highest award given by the American Littoral Society.

The award was given to the HRFA for all of the contributions that we have made to marine science and conservation.

On hand to accept the award was Capt. Chas Stamm, Gil Hawkins, Capt. Glenn Blank, Arnie Ulrich, and Bruce Halstater.

The evening was highlighted with a dinner and awards presentation. The speaker for the evenings activities was

Richard Ellis , author of "The Empty Ocean" dealing with troubles of fish and fishermen as resources dwindle
and habitat is lost.

Gil Hawkins    Director HRFA



 

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Henry Hudson

 

 

The Hudson River Fishermen's Association is participating in an electronic fish tagging survey.  The HRFA has sponsored an electronic tag to be inserted in a striped bass released by the "Adopt a Fish" program.

We named the striper "Henry Hudson."   A 28 inch striped bass tagged and released in Little Egg Harbor NJ.

To follow Henry's location, click on the following link...  Henry Hudson

http://stripertracker.org/cgi-bin/search.cgi?id=f67&view=fish
Best! ~~~<^><...Gil

 

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Harrison Ford To Patrol the Hudson

5/8/2002

Harrison Saves the River (World Entertainment News Network)
 

HARRISON FORD

Nancy Kaszerman/ZUMA Press

Environmentally-aware movie star HARRISON FORD is to patrol America's Hudson river from his own helicopter in a bid to deter polluters.

The INDIANA JONES star is linking up with BOBBY KENNEDY JR's RIVERKEEPERS and will be named at a dinner next month as the organization's first "airborne watchdog".

Ford, who is due to return to the role of Indy in a fourth installment of the movie series in 2004, will patrol the great waterway in his own helicopter, having fitted it out with sophisticated cameras.

The 59-year-old actor, a committed ecologist, will also document urban sprawl along the riverfront to strengthen conservationists' case for development control laws to be enacted in the city of Albany, NY, which stands on the river.

It's not the first time Ford has used his chopper for good - last summer he used it to rescue a Boy Scout stranded in a Wyoming canyon.

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Striped-Bass-Shadow.gif (4219 bytes)

New York considering Re-Opening commercial Striped Bass fishing in the Hudson River.

History of this issue:

The crust of this issue is the Hudson River is the second largest spawning estuary on the east coast for the striped bass.  The Chesapeake Bay being the largest.  The Commercial fishery in the Hudson river was shut down in 1976 due to unusually high concentrations of PCB found in the eggs and skin of Hudson River Striped Bass.  The PCBs were found to be coming from the two General Electric plants on the upper sections of the Hudson.  Fort Edwards and Hudson falls.  Without going into too many details which can go on for hours...G.E. dumped over one million pounds of PCBs into the Hudson River between 1947 and 1975. One pound of PCBs are enough to infect 500,000 pounds of fish.

PCB Pollution timeline  Click Here!*

Anyway...in 1966 there were over 300 commercial fishermen working the Hudson River. In 1975 a new DEC Commissioner for New York, Ogden Reid, was shocked to learn about the contamination.  Before Reid, no one wanted to publicize the problems of the fish because if G.E. was made to stop their pollution, they threatened N.Y. State with closing up the two plants and taking 1200 jobs with them. Forcing G.E. to stop the dumping would be political suicide.  Reid went public with the news in 1975 and banned all fishing in the upper Hudson and banned commercial fishing in the lower river.  Hudson River fishermen who once made a living off striped bass, Atlantic sturgeon, shad, eel, blue crab, perch, catfish, tomcod, herring, goldfish and a variety of baitfish to the market were allowed to sell only shad, Atlantic sturgeon, goldfish and baitfish.  A ten Million dollar a year fishery was forced to close with no compensation made to the fishermen for the loss of their livelihoods.

G.E. was forced to end it's discharges into the Hudson River, agreed to contribute $3 million toward cleaning up the PCBs already in the riverbed and contribute another $1 million in in-house research of the problem.  A slap on the wrist.  Shortly after that, G.E. closed up its plants at fort Edwards and Hudson Falls, taking it's 1200 jobs with it and skipping out on a $100 million cleanup bill that the residents of New York could not afford.  Ogden Reid was fired the following year.  The commercial fishermen of the Hudson River were never compensated by General Electric for forcing them out of business by contaminating the resource.

 

Were do we stand today?  The question of what to do with the remaining PCBs in the Hudson is the issue.  Environmentalists want the PCBs removed from the riverbed.   The sediments.  G.E. want the PCBs to remain their.  Of course!   It would cost the company nothing if the PCBs were left in the river bed.  They put it there, they should be responsible to remove it.  In 1997 G.E. spokesman John Haggard speaking to the New Jersey Chapter of the HRFA announced that to date G.E. had spent over $125 million towards cleaning up the Hudson River of the PCBs it had dumped.  ( today they claim it's over $165 Million ) Then the question came out of how much money was spent on lawyers and publications and propaganda and how much actually went towards site restoration?  Mr. haggard told us actually only $5 million went towards the site restoration and the rest went towards publicity and lawyers fees.  The spin doctors of Behan Communications were hired by G.E. to twist the facts and things all started to fall into place.  Why spend so much defending a clean up when if that spending went towards the site it would have been cleaned up long ago and G.E. would look like a hero.  The Answer...

    The Hudson is not the only site.  The fact is G.E. is the number one corporate offender on the nations Superfund Site list. If the EPA forces G.E. to clean up the PCBs out of the sediments of the Hudson River, the dominos would start to fall.  All the other sites would have to be done the same way, costing G.E. hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars.  The Hudson river site is only the tip of the iceberg.

Behan Communications is the professional publications firm hired by General Electric to show the G.E. side of this issue.  They are good.  THEY ARE GOOD.  They are the best at what they do.  G.E. can afford the best.  I wish we could afford them on our side.  They take every issue and twist things, paraphrase, and would make you think its raining when they are spitting in your face. They are that good. And professional.

The striped bass...remember them???... the PCBs were the reason the commercial fishery was shut down..oh yeah...The commercial fishermen were promised if the levels of PCBs came down to a level below the federal safety standards of 2 parts per million, they could go back to selling fish out of the Hudson again.

The latest tests of PCBs on Hudson River Striped Bass came in below that levels. The commercial shad fishermen of the Hudson want to now sell the striped bass they catch in their nets as by-catch to the market.  They claim the levels are low enough and they have a legitimate argument to start selling bass again.

The latest tests that the commercial shad fisherman are quoting from was released by NBC news in the early part of 1999.  G.E. splashed headlines in it's publications "Levels of PCBs found in Hudson River Striped Bass are the lowest in 50 years!"   The testing was done by a firm called the Academy of Natural Science.  They asked  me to help collect fish specimens for them and participate in the test.   At the time I was president of the NJ Chapter of the Hudson River Fishermen's Association.  I immediately noticed a change in testing procedures.  Testing was to be done on only the fillets of the striped bass.  PCBs are not concentrated in the fillets of striped bass. No fish over five pounds were to be tested.  PCBs get into the fish through a process called bio-accumulation.  The larger the fish, the more PCBs.  When questioning these very strict parameters, I asked who the funding party was to this latest test.  Reluctantly I was told the funding party had very strict guidelines and this was what the client wanted. The scientists agreed this was not a test to show how much toxins were in the fish. Just the fillets. I asked if the funding client was G.E.?  They said yes. They wanted to be able to splash in their headlines that the president of the NJ Chapter of the HRFA endorsed their findings of lower PCB levels found in Hudson River Striped Bass.  The same headlines splashed by NBC on the nightly news.  G.E. Owns NBC. It's true, the levels were found to be the lowest in fifty years.  What they didn't tell you was they changed the test!

They Changed the TEST!  Clever spin doctors.  They did not lie!

The commercial guys are now on the side of G.E. hoping to get their jobs back.  The same G.E. that put them out of business back in 1976!  All in an effort to avoid cleaning up the Hudson River of a toxin they deliberately dumped.

The fish have not changed.  The striped bass you catch outside of the Varazano Bridge are the same striped bass in the Hudson River .   They do not shed toxins when they get out to Montauk.  Our tagging studies show that most of the fish caught by the Long Island Baymen and sell to the Fulton fish market were born and raised in the Hudson River.  They spend the first five years of their lives in the Hudson River.   They still  have the PCBs in them.  They just don't want to put those guys out of business too.  All they did was change the test.

One of the strongest and consistent arguments by the General Electric company for leaving the PCBs in the sediments is the fact that they say the "Hudson is Cleaning itself."  They mean that over time the sediments get washed down river in a "Cleansing Action."

I love the term "Clean Itself."  And "Cleansing Actions."  What does that mean?  I'll tell you.  It means it comes down here to Jersey! The problem doesn't go away, it just moves somewhere else. Do they think the marinas down on the lower Hudson are pleased with the fact that they can't keep their slips clean for their clients because of the restrictions on dredging.

Do they think we look forward to health restrictions on the fish we catch down here? Does the NJ DEC need to spend millions of dollars on testing fish for PCBs because they enjoy doing it?

NO!  They have to because the upper Hudson is "Cleansing itself!" How about the thousands of dollars worth of signs that have to be posted every year warning of health restrictions on eating Hudson River fish?

How about the health risks forced on people in New Jersey and lower New York by eating the fish that had lived in the Hudson for much of their lives and now have migrated out?  Once past the Verazzano Bridge and caught are they suddenly shed of all G.E's toxins?  If so, that's some Bridge!

When the Upper Hudson "Cleanses Itself", where do they think the cleansing goes?

This is a statement by NY State Assemblyman Brodsky answering one of our e-Mail letters on the subject of Re-Opening the Commercial striped bass fishing on the Hudson:

 

December 6, 2000  EPA decision to Dredge.

In a statement released today, EPA Administrator Carol Browner has rendered the decision that the best way to restore the Hudson River and protect the citizens and wildlife is to dredge the River sediments of the PCBs that remain there.  Enough evidence has been examined, the time has come to make a decision.  The decision is that the PCBs need to be removed from the Hudson River.  Environmentally safe dredging is to be used as to not re-suspend any of the contaminants back into the water column.  General Electric is expected to appeal the decision.

 

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December 6, 2000 NY Attorney General Supports EPA Decision.

I strongly support the EPA proposal to remove the PCB hot spots from the upper Hudson River.   This action will go a long way toward protecting the health of future generations of New Yorkers and restoring the vitality of the river and it's ecosystem.

An entire generation of new Yorkers has never known a Hudson river free of PCB contamination.   PCBs suspend in the river's water and deposited in its sediments pose a health risk that has denied us full use of the river for too long.  Beyond the negative impacts on humans, PCBs also harm animals living in and along the Hudson River.

The issue of PCB contamination in the Hudson has been studied long enough.  Today's announcement by the EPA is an essential step toward reclamation and true revitalization of the treasured ecosystem.

I commend the work of EPA Administrator Carol Browner and her staff. I call on all New Yorkers to support the EPA in its effort to restore the river to the magnificence and health it deserves.  we should not delay a moment longer.

Elliot Spitzer  NY Attorney General

 

EPA Public Hearing on Dredging

March 7, 2001 Saddle Brook Marriott

The HRFA NJ insisted the that a hearing on the EPA proposal to remove the PCBs from the sediments of the Hudson River be held in New Jersey.  This issue is not just a New York issue.  These PCBs affect the citizens of New Jersey as well.  As such, we demanded a hearing in this state.   The EPA took public comments and answered your questions on this important environmental issue for the states of New York and New Jersey.

The Date:    Wednesday, March 7, 2001

The Time:    7:00 p.m.

the Place:    Saddle Brook Marriott

Garden State Parkway at Interstate 80...Saddle Brook, NJ

EPA had taken public comments on the Proposed Plan until April 17, 2001.  You can send comments to:  Doug Tomchuk / Alison Hess  Hudson River Comments,   USEPA,   290 Broadway, 19th floor,   New York,  NY 10007

or...you can e-mail your comments to:  hudsoncomment.region2@epa.gov

The EPA site is www.epa.gov/hudson which has more information on the contamination of the Hudson.

This was a great meeting with over 100 people in attendance.  Only two people spoke out against the EPA decision to remover the PCBs.  The rest in attendance fully supported the EPA Proposal.

 

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Bush Appoints G.E. Top Lawyer to White House

The New York Times
May 12, 2001, Saturday, Late Edition - Final

BYLINE:  By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE

  President Bush has filled several senior environment-related jobs in his   administration with pro-business advocates who have worked on behalf of various industries in battles with the federal government, largely during the Clinton years.

Here is a couple that might affect us in our fight to clean up and protect the Hudson:


     His choice for No. 2 at the Environmental Protection Agency was a lobbyist for Monsanto, the chemical company now devoted to agribusiness. His chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality… a lawyer who represented General Electric in its fight with the E.P.A. over toxic waste sites.

    "They are lawyers and lobbyists who built their careers by helping industry get out of environmental regulations," said Maria Weidner, policy advocate for the Earth Justice Legal Defense Fund. "Now, assuming they're confirmed, they will be doing the same thing, only the taxpayers will be paying for it."


    Guided by the tone set at the top -- from Mr. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney to Gale A. Norton, the Interior secretary, and Christie Whitman, the E.P.A. administrator -- these nominees will help determine what policies to advocate, what regulations to enforce and what litigation to pursue.


    Mr. Bush has also said he would nominate Linda J. Fisher to be deputy administrator of the E.P.A. Most recently she headed the government affairs office at Monsanto. Ms. Fisher served at the E.P.A. in the Reagan and first Bush administrations as director of the office of pesticides and toxic substances; assistant administrator for policy, planning and evaluation; and as chief of staff.

 Phil Clapp, president of the National Environmental Trust, called her a  "moderate, corporate-style Republican, not a hidebound conservative" and said "But afterward," he said, "she headed Monsanto's lobbying operation while the company was trying to head off any government oversight of genetically engineered crops."

    For chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Mr. Bush
 has picked James Connaughton, a partner at Sidley & Austin, a law firm that advises corporate clients and trade groups on environmental law. He has represented General Electric and Atlantic Richfield in fights against the E.P.A. about cleanup of Superfund sites.
 

 Report a Polluter!

1-877-WARNDEP
(1-877-927-6337)

[Get more info about the new toll-free hotline 1-877-WARNDEP]

 

RECREATIONAL FISHING ALLIANCE CALLS FOR PHASE-IN OF MANDATORY CIRLE HOOKS
IN STRIPED BASS BAIT-FISHERY
      8/28/01

The Recreational Fishing Alliance today called for the phase in of
mandatory circle hooks for anglers using bait to target striped bass.

"We believe that enough study of this issue has been done that we can now
begin to take the next step to implementation.   The standards for what
constitutes a circle hook and how to implement their use into regulations
should be developed as soon as possible. This will not be easy and it will
take time and careful consideration," said James Donofrio, Executive
Director of the RFA.

Recent studies, such as the one conducted by the Maryland Department of
Natural Resources, show that using circle hooks instead of standard "J"
hooks significantly reduces the release-mortality rate of striped bass.

Michael Doebley, Deputy Director for Legislative Affairs for the RFA,
explained some of the details: "The RFA offers to serve as a liaison
between recreational anglers and each State's enforcement division.
However, as a first course of action, we ask that RFA affiliated and other
independent angler's organizations support us on this position. We will
ask states designated as producer areas to incorporate the mandatory use of
circle hooks for bait fishing into regulations governing spawning areas
during the periods when striped bass are present for spawning."

"We realize that not all anglers prefer to use circle hooks," said Captain
Jack Ferrara, RFA's New York Chairman, "but there is mounting concern that
the striped bass are not reaching their full size and age structure. By
beginning to implement the use of circle hooks now, we can significantly
reduce release-mortality and help avoid future season and bag
restrictions," said Captain Jack.

The Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) is a national 501(c)(4) non-profit
political action organization whose mission is to safeguard the rights of
salt water anglers, protect marine, boat, and tackle industry jobs, and
ensure the long-term sustainability of our nation's marine fisheries.

 

More NJ DEP Regs

 

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We'll take menhaden

Sunday, March 16, 2003

BY H. BRUCE FRANKLIN
Associated Press

In the nine days after the Sayreville sewer main ruptured on March 2, more than half a billion gallons of raw sewage mixed with storm runoff gushed into the Raritan River, polluting Raritan Bay all the way to Sandy Hook.

In less than a week, fecal coliform levels in the western part of the bay had shot up to 50 times the standard safety level, and New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection placed an indefinite ban on all shellfishing in Raritan Bay, Sandy Hook Bay and the Shrewsbury and Navesink Rivers, threatening the livelihood of at least a hundred baymen.

Although the pipe has now been repaired, the sewage will continue to affect the entire Raritan estuary. As the temperature rises, the bacteria will multiply, the water's oxygen will be depleted, and sewage nutrients may stimulate a devastating algae bloom leading to fish kills that would escalate the contamination. We could even see the conditions that have led to repeated outbreaks in the Chesapeake Bay of pfiesteria, "the cell from hell" that slaughters fish and causes neurological damage to humans.

Nature, however, has already dispatched a gigantic rescue squad to help us ward off this potential ecological catastrophe. Due to arrive in late March or early April, this water restoration task force consists of millions of menhaden, an oily toothless fish known locally as bunkers. Each year, these huge schools of menhaden cram into Raritan Bay, where they filter feed on the phytoplankton and other particles suspended in the water. Densely packed, they sweep back and forth through the bay with mouths hanging open, slurping up detritus and plankton like a colossal underwater vacuum cleaner.

But as soon as these wonder workers arrive, they will be targeted for mass slaughter. Why? For profit, of course. And also perhaps because our legislators, like most residents of our state, do not understand what these little fish do for us.

Their filtering clarifies the water, allowing sunlight to penetrate to greater depths. The sunlight encourages the growth of plants that harbor fish and shellfish, while also releasing dissolved oxygen through photosynthesis. Even more important, the menhaden prevent deadly algae blooms. The nitrates and phosphorus in even treated sewage and normal runoff can stimulate the growth of algae blooms that block sunlight, kill fish, and sink in thick carpets to the bottom, sucking dissolved oxygen from the water and creating dead zones. Because algae and other phytoplankton are their favorite diet, the bunkers stop this process before it mushrooms out of control.

Marine biologist Sarah Gottlieb, the leading expert on the filtration performed by menhaden, explains: "Think of them as the liver of a bay. Just as your body needs its liver to filter out toxins, ecosystems also need those natural filters." Overfishing of menhaden is "just like removing your liver," she says, and "you can't survive without a liver."

The herculean work of these humble fish, combined with strenuous human efforts over the past few decades to reverse the pollution of Raritan Bay and restore its glory days as a vacation and shellfish paradise, have helped make this great estuary the cleanest of all saltwater bodies in the New York metropolitan area. The menhaden have also helped make the bay once again a mecca for saltwater anglers.

These bunkers serve one purpose while eating -- and another purpose while being eaten. Menhaden are the single most important food for the prized game fish of the region as well as many of the Atlantic fish you buy in the supermarket. As the bunkers arrive in the bay, they are accompanied by hordes of ravenous striped bass and bluefish (as well as some large spawning weakfish). These game fish in turn lure numerous eager anglers to our piers, beaches, and party boats, where they make a major contribution to the state's economy. The bunkers also attract countless birds, including terns, gannets, gulls, cormorants, and coastal ospreys, which cannot survive without menhaden. Late in the summer and the fall, baby menhaden known as "peanut bunkers" will jam many of the bay's creeks, cleaning these vital tributaries while providing sustenance for weakfish and fluke.

Evidently, however, we in New Jersey don't want the menhaden to help us clean our bay and maintain our great recreational fishery. Instead, we authorize their wholesale destruction. The state of New York has enough sense to prohibit any commercial netting of the menhaden in its share of the bay. But not New Jersey. Hot on the forked tails of these miraculous fish will come a fleet of commercial boats using vast nets to scoop up whole schools of menhaden -- and also many of the striped bass, bluefish and weakfish feeding on them. For what purpose? Oily, foul-smelling and full of bones, menhaden are not sold for human consumption. All those tons of dead menhaden will be turned into bait, mainly for New England lobster and crab traps, or ground up to be converted into pig feed and chicken feed.

Over the years, there have been many attempts -- all blocked by a handful of vested interests -- to pass laws banning commercial netting of menhaden in Raritan and Sandy Hook bays. Besides New York, states as varied as Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Rhode Island and South Carolina have all prohibited similar menhaden fishing in their bay waters. Finally, in 1999, a timid New Jersey Legislature created a token prohibited zone, extending about the length of four football fields from the shoreline. This leaves almost 90 percent of New Jersey's portion of the bay open for unrestricted decimation of the bunker schools.

This limitation has little practical effect, for the bunker boats simply wait for the ever-moving schools to swim out of New York and the protected New Jersey waters. Last spring, the boats were observed frequently netting in restricted areas, including narrow passageways close to Perth Amboy, where they annihilated entire schools that had been foraging along the west and south shores of Staten Island. By late April, there were hardly any schools of bunkers observed in New Jersey's part of the bay.

Before the sewer main ruptured, we had succeeded in reversing decades of pollution in Raritan Bay. Thanks to a rising environmental consciousness, we have stopped most dumping of hazardous waste and untreated sewage. Commercial clamming has been reviving since the 1980s. Last summer, hundreds of volunteers planted more than 100,000 carefully nurtured baby oysters in the bay, hoping to restore what had once been one of the world's great oyster fisheries. With filter-feeding clams and oysters helping to cleanse the bottom of the bay while menhaden cleanse the waters above, we have a real chance to resurrect a marvelous natural heritage.

But we have an awfully long way to go, and we need all the help we can get. To restore the bay to anything like its natural condition, we do need a permanent ban on commercial netting of a crucial element of that natural condition: the bay's menhaden.

Meanwhile, however, the Legislature cannot possibly act in time to stop the slaughter of the bunker schools that will be arriving in two or three weeks. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection must immediately issue an emergency ban on the wholesale killing of the bay's rescue squad.

H. Bruce Franklin is the John Cot ton Dana Professor of English and American Studies at Rutgers University in Newark.