Fisherman's Hut

Benson Lossing describes the Shad fishing in the area near New Baltimore in The Hudson From the Wilderness to the Sea:

"Turning southward, (from Coxsackie) the eye takes in a broad expanse of the river and country, with the city of Hudson in the distance, and northward are seen the little villages of Coeymans and New Baltimore, on the western shore.

. . .It was in blossoming May, in 1860, when the shad fishers were in their glory, drawing full nets of treasure from the river in quick succession, when the ‘tide served,’ that I visited this portion of the Hudson. On both sides of the river they were pursuing their vocation with assiduity, for ‘the season’ lasts only about two months. The immense reels on which they stretch and dry their nets, the rough uncouth costume of the fishermen, appropriate to the water and the slime, the groups of young people who gather up on the beach to see the ‘catch,’ form interesting and sometimes picturesque foregrounds to every view on these shores. The shad is the most important fish of the Hudson, being very delicious as food, and caught in such immense numbers, as to make them cheap dishes for the poor man’s table. They enter the Hudson in immense numbers towards the close of March or beginning of April, and ascend to the head of the tide water to spawn. It is while on their passage up that the greater number and best conditioned are caught, several hundreds being taken in a single ‘catch.’ They generally descend the river at the close of May, when they are called Back Shad, and are so lean and almost worthless, that ‘thin as a June Shad’ is a common epithet applied to lean persons.

The sturgeon is also caught from the Hudson in large numbers at most of the fishing stations. The most important of these are in the vicinity of Hyde Park, a few miles above, and Low Point, a few miles below, the city of Poughkeepsie. These fish are sold in such quantities in Albany, that they have been called, in derision, ‘Albany beef,’ and the inhabitants of that ancient town ‘Sturgeonites’"