Migrating Fish Restoration and Passage on the Susquehanna River
Hilsa Shad in Bangladesh
Shad of the Shat-Al Arab Region
The Fishermen of Raritan Bay
It's the Founding Fish: Seven things to know about shad
Swimming upstream - and succeeding!
Pennsylvania leads the nation in dam demolition. Detter’s Mill Dam was one of a dozen that were removed in 2004 under the careful oversight of R. Scott Carney and the Commonwealth’s Fish and Boat Commission.
Today, in an effort to establish new fish populations in areas that have been isolated for generations,
hatchery-reared fish are being stocked into new habitat areas.
Over the past ten years more than 340 million shad have been stocked in rivers in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.
The Valley Forge Fish Story:
It should be noted that the fishery on the Delaware River was long established.
In April 1779, Prisoner of War Thomas Hughes observing shad fishing at Easton commented
"they often catch three or four thousand at a sweep." As many as 4,000 shad are reported
to have been caught in one day at Burton’s Ferry in Bucks County.
Gloucester County, New Jersey alone was reported to have 40 fisheries that employed about 900 men in 1829.
The Shad Foundation
1830s by Samuel Ladd Howell, M.D., whose family owned the Howell and Fancy Hill fisheries
downstream of Lambertville [see side-bar, "Haul-seining the Delaware"]. "It is an interesting sight to witness these operations...,"
wrote Howell, "to see the water within the seine black with their backs and bristling with their fins-to witness the animation and bustle of the fishermen, and behold their eagerness and anxiety to secure their booty, are circumstances calculated to excite in the spectator of such an enlivening scene, emotions of delight, and cause him to participate with the successful fisherman in all his joy and hilarity."
Although the catches do not number in the thousands as they did in Howell's day (Howell once witnessed the landing of 10,800 shad in a single haul),
Shad fishing on the Delaware used to be a big business back in the late 1800s," said Lewis. "They caught as many as 50,000 right out of this pool. There were five fisheries in here at that time." He shows us their locations: one on both ends of Lewis Island, one directly across the river from the island, and one on each bank below the bridge at Bridge Street which we had just crossed. "Five of them," he repeated. "When all of these fisheries were in operation, you had to watch when you mis-started your haul-you'd be fishing in somebody else's water. In 1896 they each caught more than 10,000 shad apiece. At that time they shipped them to New York and Philadelphia. We don't do that anymore."
Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) Report: 2003
American Shad in PA:
In 1881, there were some 40 permanent seine fisheries in the North Branch alone. Each commonly took 300 shad per haul and up to 10,000 shad per day. These fisheries were an integral part of the growing economy of central Pennsylvania.
PA Fish Passages - 2000