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.
In addition to the postings below, anglers can utilize the following resources:
Why You Should Care About What Fish (Shad!) Swim With You In N.J. Rivers - nj.com, 3/24/15
It was just a perfect night on the river Friday night. Sunny to start and temps were just right. And there were even fireworks at 9:30. The river temp was 64F and the height was an even 1.0'. We still had on the 200 yards of net. There were no shad (makes it a bit easier to end the season that way), but we did have 4 bass, 38 catfish, 2 suckers and 1 carp (and we didn't even go to the carp hole). I will get out the totals by the end of the week. It looks like it was a decent season but no great peaks to speak of.
Lewis Fishery Report, 5/17/16
We'll take tonight and tomorrow nights off. We will give it a try on Thursday and Friday. We have an elementary school class coming to see what we do those nights.
Lewis Fishery Report, 5/15/16
Lewis Fishery Report, 5/14/16
Lewis Fishery Report, 5/11/16
We got a roe and 2 bucks. We also had 1 bass, 1 sucker, 10 gizzard shad and 1 carp. We'll be out there tonight then we'll be off for Thursday and Friday. We'll give it a try again on Saturday. Next week will be a bit touch and go depending on what we are catching.
Lewis Fishery Report, 5/10/16
We ended up making 2 hauls. In the first we had 11 bucks and 5 roe. We returned 2 shad. We also had 47 gizzard shad and a quillback. In the second haul we kept 4 bucks and 5 roe and returned 2. There was also 16 gizzard shad and 1 herring.
Weather for tonight is a little iffy. Looks like it could be raining but then again the weathermen have been so accurate...We'll see what happens and go from there. Looks like we will be seeing shad through this week I think.
Lewis Fishery Report, 5/7/16
Lewis Fishery Report, 5/5/16
We kept 11 bucks and 6 roe and returned 3. We also had 1 catfish (HUGE), 2 gizzards, 1 quillback and 1 rainbow trout (pushed out of one of the creeks I would think). We are taking the night off (I have a banquet to go to). I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the rain will be good to us again on Friday and we'll be able to get out. Next week could be a good one. The roes still look good (not too mature) and the river should be at good heights next week.
Lewis Fishery Report, 5/4/16
Tonight (Tuesday) we saw the river had come up almost a foot to 1.31' and the temp dropped to 58F. We still had the 300 yards of net and it was already in the boat (It hadn't rained by the time we left the island on Monday night so...). We gave that a try and changed the haul a bit so we didn't end up around a pier. It came in hard but we ended up with 19 roe and returned another 11 shad. We also had 2 bass, 5 catfish, 1 sucker, 9 gizzard shad, 5 quillback and 1 herring.
After staying around that 1.31' mark for a bit the river is on the rise again. It was at 1.33' at 9:45PM and on the way up. Forecast is for 2.5' at 2AM on Thursday (5/5). We didn't put the net back on the boat tonight and I think we will be at 200 yards tomorrow. We might even be fishing around the point. All depends on the weather. We'll see what we can do.
Lewis Fishery Report, 5/2/16
Saturday was a nice enough day. We had some blue skies for a while. It got a little overcast later in the day but I still got my Shad Fest sunburned neck (not as bad as some years). We only went out at 1pm in hopes of getting a few shad and rushing to get a second one started before 2. No such luck. The water was down to 0.15' and the temp was 59F. we only got one buck and had to put him "on ice" for Sunday to show people. We also got 96 catfish, 1 sucker, 12 gizzard shad 1 quillback and a striper.
For Sunday it looked like it would be a washout. I got a call from one crew member asking how things looked and I told him to stay home. I said it was about 90% that we would not go out. We stood around for a bit and then people started showing up just after noon. By the time 12:30 rolled around we had a crew, a crowd and it was even getting a little brighter with no rain. So we ventured out.
The water was now 0.11' and back down to 58F. All we got this time were 2 bass and 22 catfish. We also got a flathead catfish that we did not return to the river. We'll try to get out there tonight. The river seems to be moving up a bit (0.26' @ 1:45PM). We'll see what we can do.
Lewis Fishery Report, 4/30/16
The river was at 0.23' and the temp was down to 58F, a 10 degree swing since Monday (ouch). We did end up with 2 roe (small, thought they were bucks at first). We also had 6 bass, 103 catfish and 30 gizzard shad. We'll be out there today at 1pm for the Shad Fest. Maybe the sun will come out for a bit and warm things up.
The river was back up to 0.22' (up from 0.19' the night before, it's something) and the temp was down to 63F (from 69F the night before). So whether it was the water temp or the river drifting up a bit or all the geese with their new goslings (about 8 I think) there were only 4 bucks in the nets. We also had 8 bass, 52 catfish, 19 gizzard shad, 11 quillback and 1 striper. Looks like it could go either way for tonight. Right now the forecast I am looking at is showing 0.24" of rain between 2PM and 2AM. We've been told that before.
Lewis Fishery Report, 4/27/16
Lewis Fishery Report, 4/26/16
It looks like we might get some real rain today. We could sure use it. NWS is saying almost half an inch between midnight last night and 11pm today. And right now the river forecast is for it to reach 0.6' by 2am Thursday. All nice things if they happen. We'll be at it again tonight as long as it's not pouring rain and there is no lighting.
Lewis Fishery Report, 4/25/16
As for the haul, there were no shad but we did get 9 bass, 55 catfish, 2 suckers, 2 quillback, a walleye and a striper. We will be out there on Monday. Looks like there might be some rain for us this week (promises, promises). And a reminder, Lambertville's Shad Fest is this weekend. We will be going out at 1:00pm Saturday and Sunday for demonstration hauls.
Lewis Fishery Report, 4/23/16
For Friday the water was down to 0.43' and the temp was 64F. We got 12 bucks and 6 roe. We also had 3 bass, 12 catfish, 2 suckers, 35 gizzard shad, 3 carp, 5 quillback and 1 stripped bass. We are seeing a lot of algae and grass growing along the shoreline. Makes for slippery conditions.
We'll be out again tomorrow (we have a scout troupe coming for a visit). Maybe we'll get some of the rain they are predicting on Monday. Right now the forecast is for the river to get down to 0.3' by 2am tonight and stay there until at least 8am Monday.
Lewis Fishery Report, 4/21/16
It all fished well but we only got 5 bucks and 2 roe. Might try something different tonight. We also had a bass, 3 catfish, 1 sucker 12 gizzard shad 1 quillback and 2 striped bass (first of the year). We also had a loon who looked like he was going to make things interesting but he found his way out befor the end of the haul. We'll be at it again tonight.
Lewis Fishery Report, 4/20/16
It was a great looking haul but something just wan't right because we ended up with just 1 roe shad. We also had 3 bass, 9 catfish, 5 suckers, 6 gizzard shad 2 carp (first of the year), 2 quillback and a yellow perch. Instead of making a second haul with what was looking like too little net we changed gear and will be fishing 300 yards of net tonight. I hope it changes our luck. It looks like the river will be around 0.6' - 0.5' tonight. Keeping fingers crossed for some rain on Friday (please).
Lewis Fishery Report, 4/19/16
Keeping fingers crossed that the river doesn't drop too much. First rain in sight is Thursday night. We'll see...
Lewis Fishery Report, 4/17/16
On Saturday the river had dropped to 1.41' and the temp was 52F. Still a gorgeous day. Decided we needed another piece of net to get out a little further. We added our 40-yard piece to go to 240 yards. We don't usually get too much on Saturday mornings but we ended getting 4 bucks (kept). We returned 4 shad. We also had 11 smallmouth bass, 7 catfish, 2 suckers, 1 gizzard shad and 1 quilback.
We'll be back at it on Monday night. I think this could be the big week. No rain in sight right now and the river will continue going down. We could use some rain. First chance of any is Friday.
Lewis Fishery Report, 4/14/16
It was a perfect night to be on the river. the only negative is that we broke the pole we use to come in at the end of the first haul. We had to fish the second one a little differently because of it but we did well anyway. We should have it repaired in time for tonight. We'll see how many more hauls we get out of it. In the meantime I will be looking for something about 3 - 4" square and 18' long to replace it. Always something to keep us busy.
Lewis Fishery Report, 4/13/16
It was a beautiful night to be on the river. Not much wind and not too cold. And to top it all off a great sunset. It looks like the conditions should be much the same for tomorrow, just a bit warmer. We'll be back at it then.
Lewis Fishery Report, 4/12/16
With everything going so well Mother Nature decided to liven things up and put not one but two beavers in the haul. We got lucky and one got out on his own. The second one decided to wait around and put on a bit of a show on the point. We were able to help him over the net with the help of a stick and all turned out well.
We ended up returning 5 shad and keeping 9 buck and 10 roe. We also had 1 bass, 1 catfish and 3 suckers. Forecast looks to get better as the day goes on. The river is down to 1.77' as of 10:45AM. We'll see what we can do.
Lewis Fishery Report, 4/11/16
We'll try to be out there tonight. Forecast is a little iffy but better than tomorrow. The river is forecast to be around 2.1' (I think it will be about 2' even).
Lewis Fishery Report, 4/8/16
Tonight (Thursday) we took 100 yards off in anticipation of the rain coming in. Since the skies stayed blue we tried something a little different with the 200 yards, a "run-around". Basically you go out down and in without staying out in the river and floating downstream for a bit. Some of the crew hadn't done anything like it before. The water was up a bit to 0.33' and the temp was 52F. All we got for our effort this time out was 1 catfish and 1 sucker. And we even got all done just as the wind and drizzle started.
We'll try to be out there tomorrow night. We'll see how much the river comes up (forecast is for it to be up to about 1.6' by 8PM).
Lewis Fishery Report, 4/6/16
Water temp was lower at 52F. The height was 0.33'. If the river forecast comes true (and they haven't for the most part this spring so far) the river is going to be at 2.6' at 8AM Saturday. With the lower temp all we got were 2 bass, 16 catfish, 3 suckers and 1 quillback. We'll give it a try tonight and we'll see if the rain shuts us out tomorrow.
Lewis Fishery Report, 4/5/16
Sunday was spent, as it usually is, getting a better 100-yard piece of net ready. And boy was it cold! Yesterday with all the rain and cold weather coming in we just pulled nets back and called it a night. We will be out there tonight, with extra layers on.
Lewis Fishery Report, 3/31/16
Lewis Fishery Report, 3/30/16
Doesn't seem like the weather can make up its mind what it wants to do. Early today it sounded like we would have rain starting in the afternoon Thursday and going through Friday. Now it sounds like it will just be Friday. It keeps life interesting.
Lewis Fishery Report, 3/29/16
Lewis Fishery Report, 3/26/16
Lewis Fishery Report, 3/24/16
BTW. I forgot to mention in yesterday's e-mail, there was a bald eagle flying over the point of the island. A wonderful sight.
Lewis Fishery Report, 3/23/16
Biologist Mark Boriek Report, 3/18/16
Lewis Fishery Report, 3/15/16
We still have some clean up and other work to do this weekend but I hope to get us on the river sometime next week. That will still be almost 2 weeks earlier then we have been getting out there. As always I will keep you posted.
If you get the Travel Chanel try to catch Bizarre Foods, Monday, March 21 at 6pm. www.travelchannel.com/shows/bizarre-foods/episodes/philadelphia-shad-cakes-krak-and-kishke
Also, here is a cool video shot last year: https://vimeo.com/126924159
If you or anyone you know would like to receive Lewis Fishery updates directly, send the e-mail address to LewisFishery@comcast.net.