May 24, 2008 in Keepers Log, More Logbook

Esopus Estuary

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Description by U.S. Fish & Wildlife of Esopus Estuary: Esopus Estuary is located at the mouth of the Esopus Creek, a major tributary to the upper Hudson River estuary on the west side of the river in the town of Saugerties at river kilometer 162 (river mile 101). This tidal wetland complex consists of the lower 2 kilometers (1.3 miles) of Esopus Creek to the first barrier and extensive wetlands, including shallow water, intertidal mudflats, tidal marsh, and tidal swamp both north and south of the creek mouth. The creek and shallows are important spawning, nursery, and feeding areas for anadromous fish such as white perch, alewife, blueback herring, smelt, and resident fish species including black bass. The shallow water area at the mouth is especially important for American shad spawning, and the tidal freshwater wetlands that surround this area provide important feeding and resting habitat for migrating waterfowl and osprey. The area adjoins sections of deepwater habitat in the mainstem of the Hudson that are important as post-spawning and wintering habitat for shortnose sturgeon. The wetlands contain occurrences of several rare plant species, including heart-leaf plantain, kidneyleaf mud-plantain, and spongy arrowhead.

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