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Anglers Asked to Report American Shad in the Paulins Kill and Musconetcong Rivers

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March 4, 2020

American Shad have returned to the Musconetcong and Paulins Kill rivers. The Division is asking anglers who see or accidentally catch American Shad or river herring while fishing for other species to report their sightings. Anglers are reminded that it is illegal to take or possess American Shad in freshwaters except from the Delaware River mainstem.

The historic return of this fish to these two rivers is due to the recent removal of dams that blocked their spring spawning migration for more than a century. Although illegal to specifically fish for American Shad and river herring (Alewife and Blueback Herring), except in the mainstem Delaware River, documenting their presence is very important to the recovery of these fishes.

Anglers are asked to submit reports of shad or herring caught in the Musconetcong and Paulins Kill rivers to Please include the date of sighting, location, species, any photos, and your contact information.

The Division appreciates the cooperation of the angling public.

For more information see the DEP news releases below:

American Shad Return to Musconetcong River in Hunterdon and Warren Counties After More Than a Century (6/15/17)

Removal of Columbia Lake Dam in Warren County to Restore Large Portion of Paulins Kill to Free-Flowing Conditions, Benefiting Migratory Fish and Public Recreation (7/12/18)

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Department of Environmental Protection
P.O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: April 7, 2021