Thus far, researching the Hudson River Fishing Industry has been very elightening. I was excited to get back to uncovering more about the history of it all, and furthering my understanding of such a complex time in not only New York History, but also US history.
Luckily, I haven’t run into any challenges in researching besides tracking down relevant information. The books and other sources of media I sift through offer an exorbitant amount of information on the Hudson River and life along the Hudson, but not as much relevant information when it comes to the fishing industry. Regardless, we are making progress in uncovering and understanding the policy decisions. For example, while searching through a book entitled “Life Along the Hudson”, which is a compilation of wood engravings of Hudson River Subjects from Harper’s Weekly magazine, 1859-1903, I stumbled upon an engraving of Seth Green’s Shad Nursery. The article accompanying it explained that in April 1868, the Legislature of the State of New York passed a much-needed act for the protection of shad. At the time, the Hudson River was practically closed by various nets of so small a mesh that mature shad could not ascend to the usual spawning beds. The law imposed regulations on net mesh sizes and designated the season for shad fishery. Then, the Commissioners of Fisheries engaged the services of Mr. Seth Green, and set him to work to restock the Hudson River with shad, and save the food source which would’ve otherwise soon been exhausted.
This is just one of the many pieces of the puzzle that is the Hudson River fishing industry in the 19th and 20th centuries. We hope to continue finding more sources like this in order to properly assemble a comeprehensive history of the fishing industry.