These images show examples of fishing camps along the Hudson River. Sturgeon and shad were both prized for their caviar. Sturgeon is a prehistoric fish that can grow up to 15 feet and weigh up to 800 pounds. In the 18th and 19th centuries, sturgeon meat was so plentiful it was nicknamed "Albany Beef". A 40 year sturgeon fishing moratorium was declared in 1998 in an effort to restore the sturgeon population.
Shad, a type of herring, live most of their lives in the Atlantic Ocean, returning in the spring to spawn in the freshwater rivers of their birth. A very bony fish with flavorful meat, filleting shad is an art. Shad weigh between 3 and 8 pounds. Female shad are valued for their eggs to make caviar. Hudson River commercial fishing came to a halt in the 1970s. More on that here. Visit the Hudson River Commercial Fishing Oral Histories at New York Heritage to learn more.
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