POUGHKEEPSIE (AP) - August Zahn, a commercial fisherman responsible for passing on the knowledge of an ailing profession, has died. He was 95.
Zahn, a lifelong Poughkeepsie resident, died Monday after complications from broken leg.
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Known as "Gus" or "Gussie," Zahn was known for eagerly passing on the knowledge he gained from decades of fishing on the river. He was credited with preserving commercial fishing in Poughkeepsie despite pollution, economics and age that drove others from the profession.
For nearly 75 years, Zahn made a living on the Hudson. The state now only allows commercial fishermen to sell shad and blue crabs. Other species are too contaminated with PCBs.
"He fished for everything -carp, herring, striped bass of course. He was out on the river all the time," said John Mylod, a Poughkeepsie resident and one of the Hudson's few remaining commercial fisherman.
"He taught us everything about shad fishing," Mylod said. "But when it came time to go out on the river he said, 'You have to do it yourself.' … We're still learning, and that's 30 some years later."