Collection, Artificial Fertilization, and Transplantation of Eggs of the American Shad, Alosa sapidissima (Wilson) to the Susquehanna River, 1971-1976

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Proceedings of a Workshop on American Shad

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In 1970, an agreement was signed between various utilities, states, and the federal government for the implementation for a five-year program 'for restoration of the American shad to the Susquehanna River.' One objective of the program was to obtain 50 million or more fertilized American shad eggs annually to be transplanted to the River and tributaries above Conowingo Dam (Maryland) in an attempt to establish a population of American shad that, when mature, may have the urge to return upriver to spawn. Recruitment from this stock may then contribute to the population of adult shad which can be attracted to enter a fish collection facility constructed below the Dam. Since 1971, shad eggs were collected from east coast rivers north to the Connecticut River, Connecticut, and south to the James River, Virginia, from April through June. In 1974, the effort was broadened to include the Columbia River on the west coast. Some 216.2 million artificially fertilized eggs were transplanted. Rate of fertilization exceeded 90%. Viability of eggs introduced was 69%. Hatching success of viable eggs released into the Susquehanna River was 70%. Although large numbers of American shad eggs can be artificially fertilized and transplanted, whether or not these transplants will ultimately be successful in increasing the population of shad that has the urge to migrate upstream remains to be determined. Transplants through 1976 resulted in successful hatches but no increase in catch of shad was observed at Conowingo Dam.

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