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