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Delaware River Shad Fishing Reports - 2019


Anglers Asked To Report Shad In Musconetcong River

Surveys Show Strong Rebound of American Shad In the Delaware River (DEP News Release, 10/30/17)
Andrew and Steve Meserve mix fish roe and chicken eggs to create a unique dish (Travel Channel)

Every year American shad migrate up the Delaware River to spawn. The numbers and timing of the "shad run" vary year to year depending on water temperature and conditions. Having accurate, up-to-date information on the run can greatly impact on angling success and enjoyment. Fortunately, there are resources anglers can use to get this information.


"The Big D" - 2006 Freshwater Fishing Digest article about the river and its fisheries. (pdf, 165kb)
Why You Should Care About What Fish (Shad!) Swim With You In N.J. Rivers -, 3/24/15

4/24 Update Report
4/24 Report
4/22 Report
4/19 Report
4/17 Report
4/15 Report
4/13 Report
4/12 Update
4/11 Report
4/10 Report
4/9 Report
4/8 Report
4/5-6 Report
4/3 Report
3/30 Report

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/24/19 Update
It's me again. The river decided to have pity on us and drop down to 4.35' at 7pm. Just enough for us to give it a try. The water temp was 60F. We went down to 100 yards of net. It surly wasn't the prettiest haul we ever made. Had a little trouble when we got the net hung up when we got to shore. The river was moving fast. But we managed to get it all in fine in the end. Still there was nothing for our troubles. Just lots of mud on the point of the island.

As of now we still look good to get out there tomorrow night. Forecast is for the river to be about 3.7' when we fish. Weather should hold off for us. Friday is another story. River will be good but the weather forecast is calling for 80% chance of rain. and we could get up to a half inch. If that holds true then the river will be coming up Saturday morning. As we always do, we'll wait and see what the river gives us.

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/24/19
Just a quick update. The river is finally getting to where we can fish. At 8:45am it was at 4.52'. By 8pm the forecast has it at 4.2'. If that holds we'll be out there with 100 yards of net. There will be an update later tonight.

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/22/19
Well, things are looking a little better. At one point over the weekend the forecast for the river had it going up past 8'. In the end it crested at 6.38' at 6pm on 4/21. Now the slow descent. The last reading I have is 5.55' at 9:45pm. By 8pm Tuesday it should be at 4.9'. If it keeps going at the rate they forecast we should be able to get on the water Wednesday. It would be nice to fish again. At least it looks like the weekend will be nice for Lambertville's Shad Fest. I'll keep you all posted.

Just so you know, we start about 6pm Monday to Friday and 10:30am Saturday.

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/19/19
Another day, another night NOT on the river. The river and weather still conspire to keep us from fishing. It was right around where we could have gone out tonight but the weather forecast looked bleak. With all the rain coming tonight the forecast is for the river to get back up to 7.2' Monday at 2am. So it looks like another few days before we can get out again. I'll send an update out over the weekend.

Also, next weekend is Shad Fest in Lamvbertville. We will be making demonstration hauls Saturday and Sunday at 1pm. If you want to see us without the crowds we'll still be at it well into May I think.

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/17/19
Yesterday the river was at 7.27'when we would have been trying to fish. Almost 3' above where we can fish. It got a little better tonight. At 6:30 the river was at 5.89'. With the way the weather is looking it might be next week before we get out again. They are out there, we just can't get to them.

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/15/19
This is going to be a quick note tonight. The river was about 4.58' when we would have been trying to make a haul tonight. Too high to fish. Instead we "put things up" and made sure all was secure. Forecast for the crest at Lambertville is for 7.2' now. With a lot of luck we might be able to get back at it Thursday or Friday.

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/13/19
It was looking like a great day for fishing on Saturday. The river was at 2.95' and 54F. We sill had the 200 yards on. We fished it just like Friday night and everything looked good. It did take a bit more effort getting the boat in and the net went down river hard. Really had to hold back the land end to get the net into the eddy and get ahead of it. Still in all it looked like a good haul. However it only go 2 quillback. Turns out the river was on the rise and would get over 4' by 6pm. It settled down a bit Sunday but going out on Monday is still up in the air. As much due to weather as river.

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/12/19
It was another gray night, raining my whole drive into Lambertville. I was not at all sure we would even make it out. Then I parked the car and it wasn't raining and the crew had the boat all ready to go. We made it out and came away with 14 roe and 3 bucks, and returned 16. There were also 7 gizzard shad. Not a bad night after all. By the way, the river was at 2.29' and 56F. And we were still using 200 yards of net. We'll see what Saturday morning brings.

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/11/19
Quite a different night on the river tonight. Gray and breezy. Cooler then it has been. Water temp dropped to 53F and the river only down to 2.59' from 2.62'. We still have the 200 yards of net on. Fished it the same as we have been all week. All we got tonight were 2 bucks and 1 roe. We returned 1 and also had 2 gizzard shad. Right now the forecast is for a chance of rain straight through until Monday night. We'll see what happens. Maybe we can get one in tomorrow night.

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/10/19
What a beautiful night on the river. Clear and warm, although the breeze had a little chill in it. The river was up a bit to 2.62'. Temp was up to 57F. We are still using the 200 yards of net. That should be good for the rest of the week. We ended up with 2 buck and 11 roe. We returned 3 and we had a quillback. The river should be crested now and it should start falling slowly. Forecasters seemed to have backed away from the rain a bit so by Saturday morning it should get down to 2'. Still good fishing conditions. We'll just have to wait and see what kind of rain comes in. We will be back at it tomorrow.

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/9/19
For a day that was just about perfect up until 5pm it sure went south in a hurry. At my house the skies got dark and the rain came down. There was also a fair amount of thunder rolling around us. Wy wife and I decided to hit the road to Lambertville anyway and hope that the weather would give us the hour break we were looking for.

When we arrived the crew that had already shown up told us of the hail that came down just before we got there. Once the storm passed we were able to get out on the river. The storm must have spooked the fish. We kept 3 bucks and 5 roe. We returned 4 shad. We also had 1 quillback. In the end we still had a beautiful sunset over the river to end our day. Looks like things will be cooling off a bit for tomorrow and Thursday. We'll see how the fish like that.

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/8/19
A new week and better times. The weather sure did warm up over the weekend. Could not believe we were in t-shirts tonight, even with overcast skies. The river was at 2.27' and the temp was 57F. Quite the rise from last week.

We added another 100 yards on for tonight (up to 200 yards). It made all the difference. We kept 4 roe and 2 bucks. We returned 35 shad. We also had 4 gizzard shad and 4 quillback. So we are finally getting to where they are. Tomorrow sould be just as good (as long as I'm not too late getting out of work). We'll be at it again.

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/5-6/19
Sorry I missed a couple days. We didn't go out on Thursday night (had to work late - bummer). We did get out Friday. Still had the 100 yards of net. Water was at 2.34' and 46F. Still no fish. We also mad a try on Saturday. River for that one was 2.44' and 48F. Still the 100 yards of net but we fished it out in the water more. Got over to third pier. Still nothing. We got another 100 yard piece of net out and a 40 yard piece. That should get us through most of the rest of the season. We'll be at it again Monday at about 6.

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/3/19
A windy night on the river. But warmer then it looked for once. The water temp was 48F and the height was 2.75'. We are doing a great job of clearing the river bottom of limbs. We got a couple more tonight. Still no fish.

We're keeping an eye on the weather. Looks like rain is coming in tomorrow night and goes through the beginning of the week at this point, except for Sunday when we can't fish. We'll see what happens.

Just so you know, we start about 6pm Monday to Friday and 10:30am Saturday.

Lewis Fishery Report, 3/30/19
It has begun. We made our first haul Saturday. I got word earlier in the week that they are catching them in the boats. It was a beautiful day and much too warm for the first day. Not sure what the air temp was but the water temp was 45F. We started wit the traditional 100 yards of net. The river was at 2.62'. As expected, all we got was a couple limbs and some rocks. About what we expect for a first haul. There is also a fairly large log that made it necessary for the land end of the net to be kept out further than we would have liked.

All that aside, it was a great day on the water. We will be back out there on Monday.

If you know anyone who would also like these updates just send the e-mail address and contact info to me.

Steve Meserve
Lewis Fishery
1 Lewis Island
Lambertville, NJ 08530


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Last Updated: April 25, 2019