The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced the release of the draft Recovery Plan for Hudson River American shad for public comment. American Shad is an economically and ecologically important migratory fish species that once supported a robust fishery in the Hudson River. Decades of intense fishing pressure coupled with years of low reproduction and non-fishing-related mortality events have further impacted the stock’s resilience and exacerbated declines.
“American Shad is an iconic Hudson River species and I’m proud of DEC’s efforts to restore their population,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “Today’s release of DEC’s draft Recovery Plan for Hudson River American Shad highlights actions taken to date and outlines a transparent and science-based roadmap to reopening fisheries as the population recovers.”
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, Hudson stock declined, and as a result, all recreational and commercial fisheries for American shad were closed in 2010.
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, available on the DEC website until May 2, 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 protected] or by regular mail to ElizaBeth Streifeneder, NYSDEC – Hudson River Fisheries Unit, 21 S. Putt Corners Rd., New Paltz, NY 12561. Please call (845) 633-5466 with questions regarding how to submit comments.
Additional information about American Shad can be found on the DEC website.