To understand the seasonal migration of the anadromous Coilia nasus, we attempted to identify the parasites infecting C. nasus and determine their seasonal occurrence. From June 2007 to July 2008, a survey of 775 C. nasus individuals from the estuary of the Yangtze River and the coast of the East China Sea revealed more than 7,300 parasites associated with the gills and alimentary tracts of C. nasus. The following 6 helminth taxa were identified, i.e., the monogeneans Heteromazocraes lingmueni and Helciferus tenuis, the digenean Elytrophallus coiliae, the acanthocephalan Acanthosentis cheni, and larvae of the nematodes Anisakis simplex and Contracaecum sp., all of which are marine or brackish-water parasites. The absence of freshwater helminths suggested that the parasites acquired in freshwater may have been accidentally, and easily, lost by the time the fish had reached the estuary and coast. Contrary to seasonal occurrence of the parasites' life cycles, the lowest mean abundance and prevalence of H. lingmueni and A. cheni occurred in August, which suggested the immigration of C. nasus from freshwater to the Yangtze estuary, with lower parasite burdens. The highest mean abundance and prevalence of the nematodes A. simplex and Contracaecum sp. in May and June, and the lowest in August, indicated the arrival of the fish from the coast and the Yangtze River, to the estuary, respectively. These findings suggested that a majority of the fish prepared for spawning migration in the estuary in spring and early summer and returned to the estuary after spawning in the lower and middle reaches of the Yangtze River in late summer.