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American Shad

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By Peter Baker and Peter Baker,SUN STAFF | June 1, 1997
In 1984, fisheries biologists estimated that about 8,000American shad remained in the upper Chesapeake Bay. By 1995, after intensive restoration efforts, the estimated population had risen to more than 300,000.With the opening of fish lifts at Safe Harbor and Holtwood on the Susquehanna River in southeast Pennsylvania, the future of the American shad is brighter still.Combined with fish lifts opened at Conowingo Dam in 1991, the lifts to bypass hydroelectric dams at Safe Harbor and Holtwood have opened extensive spawning grounds that had been closed for 85 years.
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By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | March 23, 2012
Capt. Herbert Hamilton Ward III, a retired career naval officer who was active in Upper Chesapeake Bay environmental matters and other issues, died March 17 from complications of a blood clot at Gilchrist Hospice in Towson. The Broadmead retirement community resident was 91. The son of a lawyer and a homemaker, Herbert Hamilton Ward III was born and raised in Wilmington, Del., where he graduated in 1939 from Friends School. He was a member of an accelerated wartime class at the Naval Academy, from which he graduated in 1943.
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SPORTS
By PETER BAKER | June 18, 1995
The total acreage of submerged grasses in the Chesapeake Bay is down. Blue crab populations may be dropping to cyclic lows, as bluefish already have.But American shad -- with much help from state and federal governments, industry and individuals -- may be making a comeback of sorts.The resurgence of shad has not reached the proportions of the recovery of rockfish, which in the past 10 years have re-established themselves in the bay and along the Atlantic Coast. Rather, shad are making slower progress.
SPORTS
December 25, 2010
Marty Haggerty of Catonsville has a three-parter: How long after the Simkins Dam removal will we see the return of eels, shad, sturgeon and other natural aquatic inhabitants of the Patapsco River? Also, is there a breach in the Bloede Dam down river? When are Bloede and the Daniels dams scheduled for removal? Jim Thompson , the Department of Natural Resources point man on dam removal, replies: There are eels upstream of Simkins Dam now, we'll just see an increase in passage efficiency almost immediately.
SPORTS
By Peter Baker and Peter Baker,SUN STAFF | July 6, 1997
The annual spawning run of shad and herring has ended on the Susquehanna River, and the fish lifts at Conowingo Dam recorded transport upriver of 103,945 American shad, a 70 percent increase over the record set in 1995.The east lift at Conowingo operated for 58 days and passed 90,071 American shad, 242,900 blue-back herring, 1,015 striped bass and 384,400 others, mostly gizzard shad.The average daily catch was 1,568, but during the peaks of the run on May 4, 9 and 18, catches ranged from 6,395 to 6,725.
NEWS
By Tom Pelton and Tom Pelton,SUN REPORTER | May 27, 2008
The number of shad migrating up the Susquehanna River in Maryland has fallen by almost half over the past year, part of a worrisome decline up and down the East Coast, scientists say. The drop means that counts of American shad at Conowingo Dam have fallen by more than 90 percent over the past seven years. That is a stark reversal from the 1990s, when the construction of fish lifts at dams - and bans on shad fishing - spurred a revival of what has been called "the founding fish" because of its dominance as a food in Colonial times.
NEWS
By Tom Horton and By Tom Horton,SUN STAFF | May 25, 2001
Leon Senft has been angling for American shad in the Susquehanna River for almost 50 years, long enough to remember the good old days before huge declines in springtime spawning runs led Maryland to close the season in 1980. But the York, Pa., fisherman says, "I never caught so many as in the last few years." Senft's fishing nowadays is all catch and release because shad runs on most Chesapeake Bay rivers remain extremely depressed and keeping any is forbidden in Maryland and Virginia.
NEWS
By PETER A. JAY and PETER A. JAY,Peter Jay's column appears here each Sunday | May 17, 1992
Conowingo. -- It's no secret that the water of the Susquehanna below the big hydroelectric dam here is full of fish this spring. The bald eagles know it, the gulls and herons know it, and the wader-clad people with spinning rods lining the riverbank know it too.Among the fish down in that fast-moving water, trying to make their way upstream, are American shad -- or automotive shad, as they should perhaps be called. Some will reach their destination, as 27,000 did last year, after completing their journey by truck.
SPORTS
By Peter Baker and Peter Baker,Staff Writer | May 23, 1993
An interesting cooperative program has been started at Rocky Point Park and offers the opportunity for children and adults to learn to sail in quiet waters and at a reasonable cost.The Glenmar Community Sailing Center is a program of the Back River Neck Recreation Council, and its fleet of Dyer Dinks, Zephs and Catalina 22s is maintained by the Glenmar Sailing Club.George Culbertson, president of the Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association, said the program falls in line with the CBYRA's "join the fun of sailing" theme.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler and Timothy B. Wheeler,Staff Writer | May 20, 1993
WASHINGTON -- With many fish becoming scarce in th Chesapeake Bay and along the East Coast, anglers, environmentalists and state officials asked Congress yesterday to force coastal states to crack down on overfishing.Without federal intervention, some depleted fish populations such as American shad, flounder and weakfish may not recover, warned supporters of a bill sponsored by Rep. Gerry E. Studds, D-Mass.Mr. Studds, chairman of the House Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee, introduced legislation last week that would require states from Maine to Florida to cooperate in protecting fish that migrate along the coast.
NEWS
By Tom Pelton and Tom Pelton,SUN REPORTER | May 27, 2008
The number of shad migrating up the Susquehanna River in Maryland has fallen by almost half over the past year, part of a worrisome decline up and down the East Coast, scientists say. The drop means that counts of American shad at Conowingo Dam have fallen by more than 90 percent over the past seven years. That is a stark reversal from the 1990s, when the construction of fish lifts at dams - and bans on shad fishing - spurred a revival of what has been called "the founding fish" because of its dominance as a food in Colonial times.
NEWS
By ROB KASPER | March 14, 2007
Buying fish used to be a pretty simple matter. You sniffed the fish, you examined its eyes and you checked the gills. If the eyes were clear, the flesh didn't stink and the gills were not gooey, you had the fish for supper. But the other day before buying some shad, I felt compelled to research the background of the fish. I learned about its ecological status, its travel habits and the benefits and risks of eating it. I did more research on this purchase than I had done for some of the papers I had written in graduate school.
NEWS
By Lane Harvey Brown and Lane Harvey Brown,SUN STAFF | June 8, 2003
From the tiny viewing room at the top of Conowingo hydroelectric dam's fish elevator, Dick Williams ticked off a status report on the American shad in the Susquehanna River. It sounded promising as Williams clicked a metal counter in his hand each time one of the silvery, torpedo-shaped fish floated by. "Your eyes do bug-eye," said the Lancaster, Pa., retiree, who is working part time this spring to help count the elevator's catch. "You blink, and you might miss two fish." Small numbers?
NEWS
By Heather Dewar and Heather Dewar,SUN STAFF | April 25, 2002
One of the broken links in the Chesapeake Bay's chain of life is being mended in the coffee-brown water of the upper Patuxent River. The shadbushes are blooming along the forested banks near Davidsonville. And beneath the water's surface, the shad are running, returning to spawn in the river's headwaters from points as far-flung as the Bay of Fundy. The bay's once-huge spring shad runs were nearly driven to extinction in the 1970s, forcing state officials to shut down the commercial fishery.
NEWS
By Tom Horton and By Tom Horton,SUN STAFF | May 25, 2001
Leon Senft has been angling for American shad in the Susquehanna River for almost 50 years, long enough to remember the good old days before huge declines in springtime spawning runs led Maryland to close the season in 1980. But the York, Pa., fisherman says, "I never caught so many as in the last few years." Senft's fishing nowadays is all catch and release because shad runs on most Chesapeake Bay rivers remain extremely depressed and keeping any is forbidden in Maryland and Virginia.
NEWS
By Dan Rodricks | April 20, 2001
WHEN I moved to Maryland in 1976, I met a lot of crusty old guys who spoke of a certain silvery fish the way other men spoke of great baseball players. "You should have seen Ted Williams' swing" had the same nostalgic ring as, "You should have seen the shad run in the Susquehanna." The message: You missed both, kid, and neither ain't never comin' back. Once upon a time, the sleek shad - "the poor man's salmon" - had appeared in breathtaking abundance. Capt. John Smith touted their thick numbers in his accounts of the Virginia colony and Chesapeake Bay. By the early 1800s, shad constituted the most important commercial catch on the Susquehanna River; millions of the long-distance swimmers ended up in nets there every spring.
SPORTS
December 25, 2010
Marty Haggerty of Catonsville has a three-parter: How long after the Simkins Dam removal will we see the return of eels, shad, sturgeon and other natural aquatic inhabitants of the Patapsco River? Also, is there a breach in the Bloede Dam down river? When are Bloede and the Daniels dams scheduled for removal? Jim Thompson , the Department of Natural Resources point man on dam removal, replies: There are eels upstream of Simkins Dam now, we'll just see an increase in passage efficiency almost immediately.
NEWS
By Lane Harvey Brown and Lane Harvey Brown,SUN STAFF | June 8, 2003
From the tiny viewing room at the top of Conowingo hydroelectric dam's fish elevator, Dick Williams ticked off a status report on the American shad in the Susquehanna River. It sounded promising as Williams clicked a metal counter in his hand each time one of the silvery, torpedo-shaped fish floated by. "Your eyes do bug-eye," said the Lancaster, Pa., retiree, who is working part time this spring to help count the elevator's catch. "You blink, and you might miss two fish." Small numbers?
NEWS
September 30, 1998
AMERICAN SHAD, once the fat, silver-bellied messenger of spring in Northeast rivers, needs a lot of help if the vulnerable species is to make a healthy recovery.Since 1980, when Maryland closed the Chesapeake Bay to catching the bony but delicious fish, millions have been spent to restore the shad in its spawning rivers from Virginia to New York.Dozens of dams and man-made obstacles are being removed or breached, and fish ladders and lifts installed, to aid the upriver migration of this heavy herring to lay eggs in its native waters.
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