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Delaware River Shad Fishing Reports - 2020

 

Anglers Asked to Report American Shad in the Paulins Kill and Musconetcong Rivers

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.

INFORMATION RESOURCES

"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 - nj.com, 3/24/15

6/3 Report
6/1 Report
5/28 Report
4/24 Report
4/6 Report
3/23 Report

Lewis Fishery Report, 6/3/20
I had to watch the weather all day to see if the storms would stay away long enough to make a haul at night. When our power went out about 1:00 p.m. it was not looking good. By about 3:30 p.m. the sun was out and the forecast was promising enough to try and get one in.

There were a few branches across the path from the storm. Part of the crew took care of them while the rest got the net on the boat. The river was at 0.86' and 72F. We continue to use 200 yards of net. It was slow going to get it around the point but we didn't have enough manpower to pull in on the side. All went well for the haul.

We ended up with one small shad that we returned. It looked like he had been hooked up due to the damage to his mouth. We also had 6 smallmouth bass, 3 catfish, 1 quillback, 3 striped bass (one about 20-24") and a bluegill. Turned out we got in just before the storms started in. Could see lightning to the south as we loaded the net back on the boat. We'll go out next on Monday night. Taking it one haul at a time.

Note: If you are coming to watch or buy, please park in public parking areas. The lot to the right of the path to our bridge is private for the apartments there.

Take care and stay safe,
Steve

Lewis Fishery Report, 6/1/20
So it was a great night to be on the river. felt like we should be there. Got to trimming some more of the path yesterday so we were able to go further up the river to start out and had a real nice looking haul. We still have 200 yards of net on. The water temp was 70F again and the river was running at 1.14'. We ended up with just 5 smallmouth bass, 1 catfish, 1 sunfish, 1 river chub and 1 striper (about 18"). We'll go out again on Wednesday - after that we'll take stock and see how much more we'll try for the year.

Need to add a note for anyone that comes to watch or buy. Please park in public parking areas. There is an apartment building next to the path to our bridge. I was informed tonight by one of the residents that people coming to see us are using their parking lot. There are signs posted and you could be towed.

Take care and stay safe,
Steve

Lewis Fishery Report, 5/28/20
Hi Everyone,

First, I hope you are all doing well and are staying safe.

Now for the good stuff. We finally got back on the water tonight. Restrictions relaxed enough and I could get enough crew together to see what might still be in the waters in Lambertville. Turns out quite a bit. We were able to make it up the path thanks to the good work of one of my crew, Pete. He braved the poison ivy to clear the path for us tonight. We had 200 yards of net on the boat. Water temp was up to 70F. We had just enough crew to get the job done. Along with picking up 2 good sized logs we also had 5 bucks, 1 roe shad. We also returned 1. Also in the net were 6 smallmouth bass, 20 catfish, 1 sucker, 1 gizzard shad, 2 carp, 1 quilback, 3 striped bass and 1 rainbow trout (and a good sized one at that). The weather and crew situations don't look good for tomorrow so we will go out again on Monday. I will keep you posted.

And I will answer your questions in my next e-mail. Until then,

Take care and stay safe,
Steve

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/24/20
It's been a while so I figured I should send something out and let you know what's been going on. Not much. With all the restrictions in place there is still no way we can safely do any fishing. That said I am going to try, with my wife, to hang some net this weekend. Keeping an eye on the weather to see if there will be one good day.

Since there is no news to report on this year really I thought I would dive into the records and see what years had the fewest hauls before this year. The year with the fewest was 1957. We made 18 hauls in 14 days and caught 10 shad. There were three years where we made only 18 hauls, they were 1958 (14 days/54 Shad) 1962 (15/250) and 2007 (17/57). And in 1960 there were 19 hauls made in 12 days that got six shad. I'm still holding out hope that we will be able to get a few in between now and when our permit runs out. As always I'll keep you posted.

And since I have some extra time on my hands (not really but I can pretend) if there are any questions out there you would like to see if I can answer and them in. I'll respond to as many as I can and try to do it weekly in this email. And if your are able to get out there fishing, let me know what you're getting and where.

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

Take care and stay safe,
Steve

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/6/20
First, I hope everyone getting this is doing well and staying safe. Be sure to take care of yourself and loved ones at this unprecedented time.

Well, here it is about two weeks since we made our first haul of the year. I don't have anyting in the records to compare to this really. There have been high waters, low waters, too cold, too hot, too much rain. But never a stay at home order by the Governor. And so we stay home and hope for a chance at some point to get back on the river. The way it's looking that may not be until May. We will only go out when we are safe to do so.

I wish I had better news to give you but that is really all I have for now.

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

Lewis Fishery Report, 3/23/20
Hi Everyone,

Feels like winter never started but the calendar says spring is here. With the crazy weather we decided to try and get a crew together and get the nets in the water early this year. As it happens we were able to do that Saturday (3/21). The river was at 2.31' and 48F. We just fished 100 yards of net. A little short for the river but long enough for me and the three other crew members I had. As expected we got a bunch of tree limbs and a rock. No fish.

With the new limitations in place for New Jersey I don't know when the next time we can get out to fish will be. Above all I am looking to keep my crew and those who cone to see us fish safe. I will post as soon as I have a better idea of when we will be able to get out again. In the mean time stay safe where ever you are.

Steve Meserve
Lewis Fishery
1 Lewis Island
Lambertville, NJ 08530
908-806-3163
908-507-8197
lewisfishery@comcast.net

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Last Updated: June 4, 2020