Native and colonial Americans fished for shad for sustenance, often smoking the flesh and consuming the roe as a delicacy.
American shad continued to be an important recreational and commercial fishery throughout the 20th Century, especially in the Hudson River. However, the shad stock has since dramatically declined due to shoreline development, pollution and over fishing, and as a result all recreational and commercial fisheries for American shad were closed in 2010.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced the release of the draft Recovery Plan for Hudson River American Shad for public comment. Highlights of the draft recovery plan include:
- Annual monitoring to support an up-to-date understanding of Hudson River American shad stock status;
- Short- and long-term recovery goals and benchmarks; and
- Fishery reopening thresholds that would prompt the development of a Sustainable Fishery Management Plan.
Since 2010, DEC, federal, and local partners have taken measures to address the Hudson River American Shad stock including:
- Development of Delaware Basin American Shad Sustainable Fishing Plans in 2016 and 2022;
- Initiation of a shad bycatch monitoring project with Cornell University; and
- Reduction of shad mortality at Hudson River water intakes through plant closures and intake improvements.
The public is invited to provide comments on the draft Recovery Plan until May 2nd, 2022. Comments, questions, or requests for copies of the draft plan should be sent by e-mail with the subject line “Shad Recovery Plan” to email@example.com or by regular mail to ElizaBeth Streifeneder, NYSDEC – Hudson River Fisheries Unit, 21 S. Putt Corners Rd., New Paltz, NY 12561. Call (845) 633-5466 with questions regarding how to submit comments.
Additional information about American Shad can be found on the DEC website.
Photo of American Shad courtesy DEC.