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American Shad

Current Fishery

Commercial and recreational fishing for American Shad is prohibited in the Hudson River and the Marine District of New York. Recreational anglers may take three fish per day on the New York side of the Delaware River.

Management Action

American Shad are managed through the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). Due to significant declines in coastal landings of American Shad, ASMFC recommended a closure of all ocean fishing in 2005. A 2007 coast-wide ASMFC stock assessment followed the ocean closure and showed the Hudson River American Shad populations were in serious trouble. A complete closure of recreational and commercial fishing in the Hudson River began in 2009. A summary of the findings from this stock assessment can be found here. Staff are revising the Hudson River American Shad Recovery Plan, which will define the population goals required to re-open a Hudson River fishery.

The 2007 ASMFC Stock Assessment found the Delaware River population to be stable. Commercial and recreational fishing in the Delaware River Basin remains open, but requires an ASMFC approved Sustainable Fishing Plan every five years. The current Delaware River 2012-2016 plan can be found here. (link leaves DEC's website). As members of the Delaware Basin Fish and Wildlife Cooperative (Delaware Coop), NYSDEC staff are writing a new plan for 2017-2021.

Long-term monitoring

NYSDEC maintains three long-term monitoring programs for American Shad:

Hudson River Spawning Stock Survey

  • 500 foot seine and electrofishing during April and May
  • Collects lengths, weights, and ages of spawning American Shad
    Crew pulling he haul seine

Hudson River Young-of-Year Survey

Non-tidal Delaware River Young-of-Year Survey

Biologist holding a Hudson River American shadResearch Projects

2009-2012 Sonic Tagging Project

2009-2011 Predator Stomach Sample Project

  • Collected 549 predator stomachs during young-of-year sampling projects
  • Evaluated importance of shad species for predators in fresh and brackish waters of the Hudson River

More about American Shad :

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