The Commercial Fishery for American Shad in the Hudson River: Fishing Effort and Stock Abundance Trends
Proceedings of a Workshop on American Shad
The American shad (Alosa sapidissima) has been an important food fish in the Hudson River since colonial days. Intermittent records of the fishery since the late 1800's reveal a period of high production from 1880-1901; the all time record year was 1889 when the reported catch was 4,332,000 pounds. This period of high production was followed by a period of low catches through the mid 1930s. Continuous records since 1931 indicate that shad landings and fishing effort increased to relatively high levels again from 1936-1946. Shad landings and fishery effort then steadily declined through 1975. Yield per effort indices of abundance since 1931 show that the shad population in the Hudson River has oscillated with a periodicity of 14-16 years but in a generally declining trend. A reassessment of the current management program seems appropriate.