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Shad struggling to return to Hudson River

May 17, 2017 12:03 am
Brian PJ Cronin reports in The Highland Current that even after the state ended commercial fishing in the Hudson River, shad are still struggling. Riverkeeper’s John Lipscomb warns that the Hudson shad population had become dangerously low. Shad are important to the river, coming upstream to spawn each spring, eating plankton and being eaten by larger fish and bald eagles. John Waldman, author of "Running Silver: Restoring Atlantic Rivers and Their Great Fish Migrations" said that, “if we can solve the shad, we can solve everything else” that needs to be addressed in the Hudson ecosystem, because, “shad are large fish that want to go pretty far upriver. If you get shad far up the river, then the bass, the sturgeon, the alewives, the lampreys, are also going to make it. If they’re successful in making their way all the way up the river to their spawning grounds, then everything else should follow.” Besides centuries of fishing, scientists say that invasive species such as largemouth bass eat the shad, invasive species such as zebra mussels eat the plankton that shad feed on, and power plants along the river may be killing off up to 20 percent of the spawning population, suckied up by power plant cooling systems. Read the full story in The Highland Current.