These Fish Are Safe to Eat from the Hudson River

by Ella

The Hudson River offers a wealth of fishing opportunities for anglers. However, it’s crucial to be aware of the risks associated with consuming fish from this river. Contaminated fish can expose individuals to hazardous chemicals like mercury and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), according to the New York Department of Health.

Health Warnings and Precautions

The New York Department of Health advises that women under the age of 50 who may become pregnant and children under 15 should avoid eating all fish caught from the Hudson River, spanning from the South Glens Falls Dam north of Albany to The Battery in Lower Manhattan. Additionally, no one should consume striped bass caught between the Federal Dam in Troy and the Rip Van Winkle Bridge in Catskill due to high contamination levels.


Fish Consumption Guidelines

For those fishing in the Hudson River, certain fish species are deemed safer to eat, though they should be consumed only once a month to minimize exposure to harmful chemicals. The guidelines vary depending on the river section where the fish are caught.


Federal Dam at Troy to Rip Van Winkle Bridge at Catskill

  • Alewife
  • Blueback Herring
  • Rock Bass
  • Yellow Perch

Rip Van Winkle Bridge at Catskill to NYC Battery

  • White Perch
  • Striped Bass
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Rainbow Smelt
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Freshwater Drum
  • Goldfish
  • Carp
  • Brown Bullhead
  • Bluefish
  • Atlantic Needlefish

Specific Advice for Crab Consumption

Blue crab meat from the Hudson River should be limited to four meals per month. Additionally, it is recommended to avoid consuming the soft “green stuff” (also known as tomalley) found in crabs and lobsters, as it contains high levels of PCBs and other contaminants.


While the Hudson River is a popular destination for fishing, it is essential to follow health guidelines to avoid the risks associated with consuming contaminated fish. By adhering to the New York Department of Health’s recommendations, anglers can enjoy their catch while minimizing potential health hazards.



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