Hudson River Animal of the Month: Hogchoker

Apr 2, 2019

Welcome to the official page dedicated to the Hudson River Animal of the Month! This month, we are thrilled to present to you the mesmerizing Hogchoker. Prepare to be amazed as we dive into the world of this fish species and explore its captivating features, habitat, and importance in the ecosystem.

About the Hogchoker

The Hogchoker, scientifically known as Trinectes maculatus, is a flatfish that belongs to the family Achiridae. This small but remarkable fish can be found in the brackish waters of the Hudson River. Its distinct name comes from its habit of burrowing itself in the sandy river bottom, making it appear as if it's "hog-choking" itself.

This fascinating creature boasts an unusual body shape, with both eyes located on one side of its flat body. This unique adaptation allows the Hogchoker to camouflage and blend in seamlessly with the riverbed, making it an elusive sight for those unaware of its presence.


The Hogchoker inhabits the shallower areas of the Hudson River, particularly in muddy or sandy bottoms. It is often found near riverbanks, where it can take advantage of the bountiful food sources available. This fish species is also known to prefer brackish waters, which are a mix of freshwater and saltwater.

One interesting feature of the Hogchoker's habitat is its ability to tolerate varying salinity levels. This allows it to thrive in estuaries, where the freshwater from the river meets the saltwater from the ocean. The adaptability of the Hogchoker showcases its remarkable resilience and ability to survive in different environments.

Physical Characteristics

The Hogchoker typically measures around 5-8 inches in length and has an elongated oval-shaped body. Its coloration and patterns serve as its primary defense mechanism, as it relies on camouflage to avoid predators. The upper side of the Hogchoker's body can range from olive to dark brown, intricately speckled with lighter spots.

One of the most intriguing physical features of the Hogchoker is its ability to change color to match its surroundings, providing an exceptional level of camouflage. This remarkable adaptation allows it to blend in perfectly with the sandy river bottom, effectively concealing itself from potential threats.

Food and Feeding Habits

The Hogchoker is a carnivorous species that primarily feeds on small invertebrates, such as shrimp, worms, and small crustaceans. Its flattened body is well-adapted for hunting and scavenging at the riverbed, where it can easily access its preferred prey.

This species possesses a fascinating feeding mechanism, using its mouth to create suction and draw in its food. It buries itself in the sandy or muddy substrate, waiting patiently for unsuspecting prey to pass by. Once within range, the Hogchoker swiftly sucks in its meal, displaying incredible accuracy and agility.

Importance in the Ecosystem

The Hogchoker plays a crucial role in the Hudson River ecosystem, contributing to its overall balance and health. As a predator of small invertebrates, it helps regulate their populations, preventing their excessive growth and ensuring a diverse and sustainable ecosystem.

Furthermore, the Hogchoker serves as an important link in the food chain, providing a food source for larger fish species that inhabit the Hudson River. Its ability to adapt to different salinity levels and thrive in diverse habitats showcases its resilience and significance within the ecosystem.

Conservation Efforts

Protecting and preserving the Hogchoker's habitat is essential to safeguarding this fascinating species. The Hudson River and its surrounding areas face numerous environmental challenges, including pollution, habitat degradation, and industrial activities.

By promoting awareness and implementing sustainable practices, we can contribute to the conservation of the Hogchoker and the entire ecosystem it calls home. Join us in supporting initiatives that aim to protect the Hudson River and its diverse wildlife, ensuring a brighter and more sustainable future for generations to come.


In conclusion, the Hogchoker is a captivating fish species that dwells within the brackish waters of the Hudson River. With its unique physical characteristics, remarkable adaptability, and important role in the ecosystem, it serves as a testament to the beauty and diversity of nature.

By delving into the world of the Hogchoker, we gain a deeper appreciation for the intricate web of life in the Hudson River and the need to protect and preserve its natural resources. Join us in celebrating the Hudson River Animal of the Month and let us work together to ensure a sustainable future for both the Hogchoker and its remarkable habitat.

Moe Alkamel
Cool fish! 🐟
Nov 8, 2023