But really, would you? Fishing has always been popular on the waterway, but years of pollution have made the question of the 'edibleness' of fish questionable at best.

According to the New York State Department of Health, there's not really a blanket answer to the question of whether Hudson River aquatic creatures pose a health risk if consumed. That alone should should be a red flag.

Largemouth bass
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But that's not exactly a no. It all depends on the type of fish, size of fish, the amount of fish consumed in a given month, and where on the river the fish was caught. Gender and age (of humans) are also factors in health risks of Hudson River fish consumption.

Sounds complicated? Yes, but the health department does have maps and guidelines for different areas of the river that can help clear up the confusion. You may have gotten your hands on the pamphlet if you recently received your fishing license:

Mapicon
Waterbody 1 (County)
fish icon
Fish
men & older women icon
Men Over 15 &
Women Over 50
Women and Kids icon
Women Under 50 &
Children Under 15
Chemical of Concern icon
Chemicals of Concern
Hudson River, upstream from Corinth Dam (Palmer Falls Dam)
(Warren, Essex, Saratoga, Hamilton)
All fishSee Adirondack Regional AdvisoryMercury
Hudson River, Corinth Dam (Palmer Falls Dam) to South Glens Falls Dam at Route 9 Bridge
(Warren, Saratoga)
Carp, Channel catfishDON'T EATDON'T EATPCBs
All other fishSee Adirondack Regional AdvisoryMercury
Hudson River, South Glens Falls Dam at Route 9 Bridge to Hudson Falls Dam at Bakers Falls
(Warren, Washington, Saratoga)
All fishDON'T EATDON'T EATPCBs
Hudson River, Hudson Falls Dam at Bakers Falls to Federal Dam at Troy
(Rensselaer, Albany, Washington, Saratoga)
All fishCatch and Release fishing ONLY per NYS DEC regulations. Take No Fish. Eat No Fish.Catch and Release fishing ONLY per NYS DEC regulations. Take No Fish. Eat No Fish.PCBs
Hudson River, Federal Dam at Troy to Rip Van Winkle Bridge at Catskill 3
(Rensselaer, Albany, Columbia, Greene)
Alewife, Blueback herring, Rock bass, Yellow perchUp to 1 meal/monthDON'T EATPCBs
All other fish (including Striped bass and Walleye)DON'T EATDON'T EATPCBs
Hudson River, Rip Van Winkle Bridge at Catskill to Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge2,3
(Ulster, Rockland, Dutchess, Westchester, Columbia, Putnam, Greene, Orange)
Crab or lobster tomalley and cooking liquid 2DON'T EATDON'T EATPCBs, Dioxin, Cadmium
Channel catfish, Gizzard shad, Walleye, White catfishDON'T EATDON'T EATPCBs
Blue crab meatUp to 4 meals/month (six crabs per meal)DON'T EATPCBs, Cadmium
Striped bass, Bluefish, Brown bullhead, Carp, Largemouth bass, Smallmouth bass, White perch, Rainbow smelt, Atlantic needlefish, and GoldfishUp to 1 meal/monthDON'T EATPCBs
All other fishUp to 4 meals/monthDON'T EATPCBs
Hudson River, south of Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge 2,3
(New York, Rockland, Westchester, Bronx)
Crab or lobster tomalley and cooking liquid 2DON'T EATDON'T EATPCBs, Dioxin, Cadmium
Channel catfish, Gizzard shad, White catfishDON'T EATDON'T EATPCBs
Blue crab meatUp to 4 meals/month (six crabs per meal)DON'T EATPCBs, Cadmium
Striped bass, Bluefish, Carp, White perch, Rainbow smelt, Atlantic needlefish, and GoldfishUp to 1 meal/monthDON'T EATPCBs
All other fishUp to 4 meals/monthDON'T EATPCBs

As you can see, different areas of the river have different rules. Basically all of the river has the risk of PCB contamination, with the exception of the northern part, where the fish may contain uncertain amounts of mercury.

Largemouth Bass
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In the Capital Region, it's very limited as to the type and amount of fish recommended. From the Troy dam to the Rip Van Winkle Bridge in Catskill, only a few fish are ok to consume, but not more than one per month. They include rock bass, yellow perch, alewife, and blueback herring. And that's only recommended for men over 15 and women over 50.

Man holding a fishing rod in and a large perch
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The further south down the river, the better it gets, but still has many restrictions in place. Ironically, New York City waters are surprisingly much cleaner than upstate.

In 2019 Ice Jams Caused Boats to Break Free in the Hudson River [PHOTOS]

This is one of those famous moments in Capital Region history where you probably remember where you were when it happened. On the morning of Friday, January 25, 2019 at least six boats broke free in the in the Hudson River between Troy and Albany. Since it was January, all the boats were unmanned at the time, so they were at the mercy of the river current and the ice.

There had been some strange weather developing over the previous few days and ice jams formed enough to wreak havoc on the Hudson River from Troy to Albany. Several boats became dislodged starting in Troy, eventually moving down the river where many hit the Livingston Avenue bridge, which carries trains over the Hudson between Albany and Rensselaer.

One of the boats that broke free that morning was the Captain JP Cruise ship, a four level vessel and popular summer party spot. It hit the bridge and was lodged there for quite a while as crews worked to free it. There was some damage, but it was able to be repaired in time for summer.

At least six other boats were pushed down the river including the Rusty Anchor Restaurant as well as some barges and tugboats.

Several bridges were closed due to safety concerns, including the Patroon Island Bridge, which carries I-90 over the Hudson connecting Albany and Rensselaer Counties. Rescue crews with tugboats were on the scene quickly from the port of Albany to stop the runaway boats.