Populations of American shad have gotten so depleted that fishermen (and fisherwomen, naturally) may no longer fish for them in the Hudson River, the DEC announced today. Restrictions are also being put on shad fishing in the Delaware.
"Unfortunately, the Hudson River shad stock has declined dramatically for more than a decade, and even restrictions enacted in 2008 have not triggered a rebound," state Environmental Commissioner Pete Grannis said in a prepared statement. "As a result ... (the ban) is the best way to try to prevent this historically important species from permanently vanishing from the Hudson River ecosystem. It's not a step we take lightly, and we will continue to work on a process for reopening the fishery if and when the shad population recovers to sustainable levels.".
The Hudson River Shad Fest, scheduled for May 16 this year, doesn't sound quite as festive as it once was, either.
Sadly, the shad population has declined in recent years to dangerously low levels and the focus of this year’s event is on saving the American Shad and other Hudson River signature fish which are similarly at risk.
As far as we know, the Comedian Harmonist vocal ensemble Hudson Shad is still fair game.
Image: A painting of the American Shad commissioned by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.