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Kill Van Kull

Hudson County, New Jersey.

Kill Van Kull midpoint in Staten Island, New York.

Kill Van Kull ends in Staten Island, New York.

4.23 miles long (6.80 kilometers)

About The Kill Van Kull

Kill Van Kull, NJ

The Kill Van Kull Channel is a 3-mile long,1,000-foot wide, and 50-foot deep tidal strait that connects the Upper bay and Newark bay. It lies between the borough of Staten Island, New York City, and Bayonne New Jersey.

The Industrial Revolution of the 1830s through 1970s ravaged and polluted the channel. It was considered as an open sewer and was deemed irreclaimable at some point. The channel was at times dirtier than the sewage flowing to the treatment plants which devastated the fisheries and wildlife around the area. Today, because of proper regulations, the channel is slowly recovering and the rate of pollution has drastically declined.

Kill Van Kull which translates to "channel of the pass" or "ridge" was a historically important channel that served as the main route for ships docking at the busy harbors of Port Elizabeth and Port Newark which made it the most important channel for commerce for the region.

Kill Van Kull Fishing Description

All About Fishing in Kill Van Kull, NJ

There are abundant fish species found in the channel because of its connection to the two large Upper and Newark bay. The most popular fish species caught in the Kill Van Kull channel are striped bass, bluefish, channel catfish, white sucker, sunfish, killifish, and pumpkinseed. Blue crabs and eel can also be found in the area. However, harvest, sale, and consumption of blue crabs and American eel less than six inches in total length are prohibited by the Marine Fisheries Administration Commercial Regulations

Due to ongoing protection, regulation, and proper management by the federal government's environmental protection agency, the ecosystem of Kill Van Kull is slowly recovering. aquatic invertebrates, plankton, insects, crustaceans, and small fish are now thriving in the area, which serves as food for the striped bass, bluefish, catfish, and other fish species in the channel.

In today's time, the Kill Van Kull channel serves as an important route for maritime trade in the region. The U.S. army corps of engineers and the port authority of New York and New Jersey plan to utilize this by dredging the channel to accommodate the passage of larger ships. However, this will pollute the channel and surrounding bodies of water by unearthing dioxin, PCBs, mercury, DDT, pesticides, and heavy metals that were dumped in the water by various companies that once manufactured pesticides along its shores. This in turn puts fishermen at risk of eating contaminated fish.

Fishing in the Kill Van Kull is popular in amenities such as parks, public launches, and docks for boats. The most popular fishing techniques are baitcasting and fly fishing.

Boat fishing can also be done in the area but it is often discouraged because of the large ships that often pass through. Miniature fykes and pots can be used to catch catfish, suckers, and killifish, but its use is heavily regulated wherein only up to two miniature fykes and pots may be used for catching killifish or eels, provided that they won’t be sold or used for barter.

Kill Van Kull Seasonal & Other Description

Fishing Seasonality 

Fishing in Kill Van Kull is open all year, but it is generally advised to avoid summer months with extremes of heat and winter months with extreme cold when going fishing.

Peak seasons depend primarily on the type of fish; striped bass is at its peak from January to April, suckers from late April to early June, sunfish from May to August, and bluefish and pumpkinseed are available all year round but their numbers decline during the winter season.

Temperature and Optimal Seasons

Fishing Seasonality 

Fishing in Kill Van Kull is open all year, but it is generally advised to avoid summer months with extremes of heat and winter months with extreme cold when going fishing.

Peak seasons depend primarily on the type of fish; striped bass is at its peak from January to April, suckers from late April to early June, sunfish from May to August, and bluefish and pumpkinseed are available all year round but their numbers decline during the winter season.

Kill Van Kull Fish Species

All About Fishing in Kill Van Kull, NJ

There are abundant fish species found in the channel because of its connection to the two large Upper and Newark bay. The most popular fish species caught in the Kill Van Kull channel are striped bass, bluefish, channel catfish, white sucker, sunfish, killifish, and pumpkinseed. Blue crabs and eel can also be found in the area. However, harvest, sale, and consumption of blue crabs and American eel less than six inches in total length are prohibited by the Marine Fisheries Administration Commercial Regulations

Due to ongoing protection, regulation, and proper management by the federal government's environmental protection agency, the ecosystem of Kill Van Kull is slowly recovering. aquatic invertebrates, plankton, insects, crustaceans, and small fish are now thriving in the area, which serves as food for the striped bass, bluefish, catfish, and other fish species in the channel.

In today's time, the Kill Van Kull channel serves as an important route for maritime trade in the region. The U.S. army corps of engineers and the port authority of New York and New Jersey plan to utilize this by dredging the channel to accommodate the passage of larger ships. However, this will pollute the channel and surrounding bodies of water by unearthing dioxin, PCBs, mercury, DDT, pesticides, and heavy metals that were dumped in the water by various companies that once manufactured pesticides along its shores. This in turn puts fishermen at risk of eating contaminated fish.

Fishing in the Kill Van Kull is popular in amenities such as parks, public launches, and docks for boats. The most popular fishing techniques are baitcasting and fly fishing.

Boat fishing can also be done in the area but it is often discouraged because of the large ships that often pass through. Miniature fykes and pots can be used to catch catfish, suckers, and killifish, but its use is heavily regulated wherein only up to two miniature fykes and pots may be used for catching killifish or eels, provided that they won’t be sold or used for barter.

Channel Catfish

Habitat: Rivers, Tidal Mouths, Bends, Wrecks

Weight: 2 - 4 Pounds

Length: 15" - 25"

Striped Bass

Habitat: River, Lake, Onshore, Near shore

Weight: 10 - 81 Pounds

Length: 20" - 55"

Bluefish

Habitat: Nearshore, Onshore

Weight: 3 - 15 Pounds

Length: 15" - 51"

White Sucker

Habitat: Freshwater Rivers, Lakes, Streams

Weight: 2 - 8 Pounds

Length: 12" - 26"