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Delaware River Shad Fishing Reports - 2018


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

4/19 Report
4/18 Report
4/17 Report
4/16 Report
4/14 Report
4/13 Report
4/12 Report Update
4/11 & 12 Reports
4/10 Report
4/9 Report
4/5 Report
4/3 Report
3/26 Report

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/19/18
Another day not fishing. And just now I looked outside (11PM) to find it's snowing. What a spring it has been. The river was at 4.46' at 6 PM which was just above what we can fish at. The wind was kicking up pretty good too. It started to rain just as I was leaving the island so it was a good night to stay in. As of 11 PM the river is at 4.35' so we should be good to go out tomorrow (Friday) night. Updates as they happen.

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/18/18
The river made its way up to 5' by 11am today and again at 1pm. At least it didn't make it to 5.2' as was forecast. At 6pm it was still at 4.91' so we were not able to make it out. The forecast right now is showing the river at 4.4' by 8pm tomorrow. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it drops a little faster so we can get a haul in before the next upturn. I'll keep you posted.

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/17/18
Well, the river dropped then it came up again. It got as low as 4.29' yesterday evening but by 6 pm tonight it was back up to 4.56'. As of 9:45 pm it was up to 4.67' on its way to a forecast crest of 5.2' at 2 pm tomorrow. With any luck we will be able to make a haul on Thursday. I'll keep you posted. If you're looking for something interesting to read check this out: The reporter was at the island on Saturday and even helped out.

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/16/18
This will be a quick update. Rained like cats and dogs over night and this morning here. When I checked the website at 10am it looked like a nice steady rise through the day and maybe we could get a haul in if there wasn't too much debris in the river. Then I got the text from a friend and the river was closing in on the nets that we had put on horses on Saturday that should have kept them out of the water until Monday night at least. Forecast changed and the river was on the move.

Thanks to Pete, Dan and whoever Pete got to help move the nets out of harm's way. River went from 2.03' at 5:30 am to 4.76' at 1:15 pm. Needless to say we stayed off the river tonight. And tomorrow is not looking so good either. I'll keep you posted.

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/14/18
What a warm clear day on the river. The River was at 2.19' and the temp was 56F. I'm afraid the height is going to go up and temp down with the rain Sunday and Monday. We still had 200 yards of net on. Saturday's are never that good for us and today was no different. We got 3 bucks and a roe. Depending on the weather we'll be out Monday and depanding on the river we'll try to get out Tuesday (see for river forecasts at New Hope-Lambertville. We don't go out if the river is over 4.4' (for saftey reasons).

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/13/18
Another great night on the river. Warmer still and a wind still out of the south-south-west. The water temp was 52F and the river was at 2.34'. We still had the 200 yards on. We got 8 bucks, 13 roe and returned 6. We also had 4 quillback. We will be going out Saturday at 10:30am. Keeping fingers crossed for Monday. Weather is not looking good.

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/12/18 - UPDATE
I meant to add this to the report sent out today but got distracted. I recorded a radio interview that will be aired Saturday at 6am on 1450am in South Jersey and will stream live on It will play at 7am on 97.3FM in South Jersey and will stream live on IT will be an 8 to 10 minute spot sometime during the show Rack and Fin Radio. There is already a blog update at Look for "Glad For Shad". I will be hearing for the first time Saturday too.

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/11-12/18
It's a two-fer today; first Wednesday 4/11. We added another 100 yards of net. Really only needed 50 yards but didn't have a good piece ready to go so it was time it call in the new net (first hauls were with an older net to make sure the river didn't hide any new logs etc for us to pick up over the winter). Water temp was up to 46 and the river was at 2.78'. All we got was a quillback.

Last night (4/12) the river was at 49.5F and 2.52'. It was windy and I wasn't sure I would have enough crew to handle the wind. Finally enough showed and we made a little different haul, going up the island further and out a little more. We were rewarded with a total of 38 shad, 13 bucks, 18 roe and 7 returned. All were a good size. There was nothing else in the net. With the warming continuing tonight could be a big night. Keeping fingers crossed.

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/10/18
It was a brighter night on the river tonight. Still cold and still windy. Water temp is stuck at 42F. The river is down to 2.92'. We will had 100 yards on. We still got nothing. Tomorrow night we will be putting out the new 100-yard piece that we made in November. We'll see if that brings us any luck.

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/9/18
It was another cold gray night on the river tonight. But, I had a full crew so out we went to see what was in the river. The river temp was 42F and we still had the 100 yards on. The river was at 3.02'. An uneventful (and quick) haul it was. And all we got was a catfish. We'll be out again tomorrow night as long as the rain finishes up before we go out.

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/5/18
It turned out to be a beautiful night on the river. No rain, nice sunshine. It was windy and cold. We still had 100 yards on the boat. The water temp went down to 42F and the river was up to 4.15'. It was a quick haul but no fish at all. The weather looks bad for the next couple of days so we will be staying warn at home. We'll try again on Monday night (although that is not looking real good at the moment either). I'll keep you posted

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/3/18
We finally got out on the river tonight. While it was a gray and drizzly night everyone was ready to give it a try. We fished 100 yards of net. The river temp was 44F. The river height was 3.4'. All we got was a river chub. Still it was good to be fishing again. The next couple of nights are looking iffy for us to go out. We'll see what we can do.

Lewis Fishery Report, 3/26/18
Finally getting this out. On the good news side of things we were able to make a new 100-yard net just before the holidays. I can't wait to get it in the water. On the bad(ish) news side we lost 3 trees in the first nor'easter. They took out the power to one of the buildings on the island but we are back up and running again. With winter hanging on we will be starting the season later this week or early next week. Believe it or not I am getting reports of shad in the river. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we have another good year.

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 20, 2018