Fish Surveys Reveal Life Beneath the Surface

Posted on: August 22nd, 2017 by Samantha Kahl

Have you ever won­dered about what lives in the Eso­pus Creek? This sum­mer, Bar­ry Baldigo of the Unit­ed States Geo­log­i­cal Sur­vey (USGS), and his team of sci­en­tists went elec­trofish­ing in the upper Eso­pus Creek to mea­sure the impact of water­shed con­di­tions on fish species pop­u­la­tions. Elec­trofish­ing is a method of catch­ing fish by deliv­er­ing an elec­tric cur­rent to the water, direct­ing fish into a net, with­out harm. In con­junc­tion with the New York City Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion (NYC DEP) and the Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram (AWSMP), Barry’s team catch­es, mea­sures, and weighs var­i­ous species of fish for data col­lec­tion, before return­ing the fish back to the creek alive and well. Since I met up with the USGS team back in July, they have since com­plet­ed their elec­trofish­ing of six dif­fer­ent sites with­in the water­shed, includ­ing Fox Hol­low Creek, Eso­pus Creek in Oliv­erea, Eso­pus Creek at Big Indi­an, Eso­pus Creek at Allaben, Birch Creek, and Wood­land Val­ley Creek. The results of the study will be writ­ten into a sci­en­tif­ic arti­cle in the near future, but until then, the results from past sur­veys can be found here: Thank you to Bar­ry Baldigo and his USGS team, the NYC DEP, and AWSMP for allow­ing me to take your pic­tures and answer­ing all of my questions.


Left to Right: Scott George (back­pack & anode pole), Mike Demoulpied, Luis Rodriguez, Don Kent, Nick McCloskey, Ed Ostapczuk, & Bar­ry Baldigo elec­trofish­ing the Eso­pus Creek, Allaben, NY, 2017. Pho­to by S.Kahl


Walt Keller (Fish­eries Biol­o­gist, CCE Ulster) and Noel Deyette (Tech­ni­cian, USGS) mea­sur­ing fish & record­ing the data, 2017. Pho­to by S.Kahl