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. 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.
As part of an effort to restore American shad (Alosa sapidissima) in New York, DEC Fisheries staff, in collaboration with the PA Fish and Boat Commission, recently stocked 322,000 American shad fry (young fish) into the Susquehanna River in Endicott, Broome County, NY.
The eggs and milt were collected from Potomac River fish and reared at the Van Dyke State Fish Hatchery in Pennsylvania for 30 days before making their journey up to New York. Prior to stocking, fish were marked so if they are recaptured, staff will be able to obtain useful information on fish growth, movement, and stocking success.
Stocking the shad further upstream will give them more time to grow larger, hopefully increasing their chance of survival and the success of restoring this migratory species.
Photo of American Shad restoration program provided.