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DEC Contact: Stephanie Mossey (845) 256-3154

March 22, 2023


Plan Will Help Ensure Sustainable Future for Historically Significant Hudson River Species

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today released the final Recovery Plan for Hudson River American Shad, an economically and ecologically important migratory fish species that once supported a robust fishery in the Hudson River. Decades of intense fishing pressure coupled with years of low reproduction and non-fishing-related mortality events have further impacted the stock's resilience and exacerbated declines. The final recovery plan details a brief history of Hudson River American shad and actions taken by DEC and others to rebuild the stock since 2010. It outlines recovery goals and benchmarks based on decades of annual monitoring data and the most recent American shad stock assessment. With the aim of long-term stock resilience, the plan establishes management needs and the criteria required to re-open fisheries as we continue to gather data and identify challenges.

"Today marks a significant milestone in DEC’s sustained efforts to restore the Hudson River’s American shad population," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "This final recovery plan provides a roadmap for the long-term recovery of this iconic species and outlines steps we can take to mitigate the numerous challenges facing Hudson River shad. By implementing the strategies outlined in this plan, DEC will work to ensure a sustainable future for American shad.”

After the release of the draft recovery plan in March 2022, DEC received numerous public comments to address in the final plan. In addition to a responsiveness summary in the appendix, the final recovery plan includes:

  • an additional year of monitoring data was added along with a plan to make annual survey results publicly available;
  • with input from federal partners, a new section incorporates the development of survival efficiencies with upstream and downstream passage at dams;
  • short- and long-term recovery goals and benchmarks; and
  • fishery reopening thresholds that would prompt the development of a Sustainable Fishery Management Plan.

Since 2010, DEC, federal, and local partners have taken measures to address the Hudson River American shad stock including:

  • development of Delaware Basin American Shad Sustainable Fishing plans in 2016 and 2022;
  • initiation of a shad bycatch monitoring project with Cornell University; and
  • reduction of shad mortality at Hudson River water intakes through plant closures and intake improvements.

Additional information about American shad can be found on the DEC website.


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