The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife recently announced new regulations regarding American shad fisheries.
Effective January 1, 2013, all American shad fisheries (both commercial and recreational), with the exception of the Delaware Bay, Delaware River and its tributaries, will be closed (no possession, take or harvest).
The recreational possession limit in the Delaware Bay, Delaware River and its tributaries will now be 3 fish with no minimum size and an open season all year.
Commercial net regulations for American shad in the Delaware Bay, Delaware River and its tributaries will remain the same.
The new regulations were implmented to comply with Amendment 3 to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) management plan for American shad and river herring.
Amendment 3 of the ASMFC fishery management plan for American shad prohibits both the recreational and commercial harvest of American shad in the waters of states that do not have an ASMFC-approved sustainable management plan.
Working in conjunction with state partners from the Delaware River Basin Fish and Wildlife Management Cooperative (CO-OP), a sustainability plan for American shad was developed for the Delaware River estuary and subsequently approved by ASMFC's Shad and River Herring Board.
According to Division of Fish and Wildlife, insufficient information was available to develop sustainability plans for other American shad stocks along New Jersey's coast.
source: NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife