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Delaware River Fishing Reports - 2011

Lambertville Family Keeps Shad Business Alive in N.J. - Star-Ledger Feature Article, 4/21/10

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.


In addition to occasional postings below from Principal Fisheries Biologist Mark Boriek and others, anglers can utilize the following resources:

  • Shad Hotline - Operated by the Delaware River Shad Fishermen's Association. Call 610-954-0577 or 610-954-0578 for the latest updates.
  • Woo's Shad Fishing Reports - Active bulletin board of reports.
  • Lewis Fishery Reports: Contact Steve Meserve of the Lewis Fishery in Lambertville at to be added to his list.
"The Big D" (pdf, 165kb) - 2006 Digest article about the river and its fisheries.

6/2 Report
5/27 Report
5/26 Report
5/16 Report
5/12 Report
5/10 Report
5/9 Report
5/3 Report
4/26 Report
4/14-16 Report
4/11 Report
4/7 Report
4/5 Report
4/4 Report
4/2 Report
3/28 Report

Lewis Fishery Report, 6/2/11
Well, the week started stinking hot. We decided to give a haul a try on Tuesday. Fishing in shorts is just not right but we went out. The river was at 2.71 and rising. We had 100 yards of net on. All we got were two carp and one catfish. Looks like the end of the season. So Thursday looks a lot cooler and we decide to give it one more try with 200 yards. The water temp was 74F (Same as Tuesday). Water was at 2.71 again and steady this time. We come in with 6 American shad (4 roe 1 buck and 1 returned) and one sunfish. We'll be out there again tonight. Who knows, we may be fishing into the middle of June at this rate.

Lewis Fishery Report, 5/27/11
We were finally able to get a haul in on Thursday. The water was 66F and just under 4'. All we could manage were rocks. The next night was a bit better water was 70F and about the same height. We got 4 American shad. Two roe and two bucks. We will be out again tonight to see what we can get. With the water staying so high so long we might be able to fish into next week (if we don't melt from the heat in the meantime).

Lewis Fishery Report, 5/26/11
What a season. The river has finally gone back down to where we can fish. We were last out on May 16th. The river has been above 4' since the 19th and weather kept us from fishing the 17th and 18th. If I have enough crew tonight we will be out there and I won't be surprised if we catch a a few.

Lewis Fishery Report, 5/16/11
So, Monday night was another gray one with muddy water. We were still able to get 5 shad (4 roe and one returned). There were also a carp, 2 catfish and 10 smallmouth bass. Water was 64F and running at 2.41'.

Tuesday there were predictions for heavy rain and thunderstorms starting around 8 and a rise in the river that would have made it about 10' in Lambertville. With that information we moved nets, brought some things up from under the cabin and took some other things off the island all together. Rain didn't come until later and now the predictions have the river getting to about 6'+/- in Lambertville. Oh, well.

Weather looks to keep us off the water tonight. We'll see if the river comes up as much as they say it will. If it doesn't we may get a haul in tomorrow, but it's not looking good.

Lewis Fishery Report, 5/12/11
A better night. A lot of boat traffic, a bit windy but still a good night to be on the river.

We got 9 American shad (6 roe and 3 bucks), 4 smallmouth bass and 1 catfish. Water temp was still 64F and the river was at 2.48'. A couple of the roes were spilling eggs. Another one had one of the smallest egg sacks I have ever seen. Quite the range of fish. I still think we will see fish for most of the rest of the month. Let's hope we don't get too much rain this weekend.

Lewis Fishery Report, 5/10/11
Things are looking up. We got 7 American shad last night (kept 4 roe and returned 3) and 1 gizzard shad. Thewater was 60F and was at 2.97'. We are at 200 yards of net. Looks like the river will continue to fall the rest of the week.

Lewis Fishery Report, 5/9/11
Better news today. We made two hauls tonight. The first one netted us one buck and one roe. The second one got us two roe. We also got a total of 6 small mouth bass, 1 quillback and one trout. The water was 59F and at 3.17.

We already have an extra 100 yards on for tomorrow night. Here's hoping that things keep getting better. And with a little luck we can build a bridge this weekend.

Lewis Fishery Report, 5/3/11
Well, we got one. One buck shad. Water was 60F and murky. The river is at 4.2'. We will be out again tomorrow as long as the weather and river will let us.

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/26/11
We were able to make it out Tuesday. Still 100 yards of net and the river was at 4.3. A little high for us, but we wanted to give it a try anyway. We ended up with no fish. And the river keeps coming up. With the current forecasts we won't be out again until next week. This could be a very late year. And bridge building? Who knows. That could be June at this rate. At least the water will be warmer.

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/14-16/11
Thursday was a great night to be on the river. To bad the shad decided to avoid us. Water was still a little muddy along shore. Temp was 52F and level was 3.97 and steady. Saturday was cold, gray, windy and you knew it was going to rain (we did not start the bridge build that was planned. We'll see if the river settles down for next Saturday). We got two roe and a buck. All real good size. If we get the predicted rain and river raise we won't be on the river Monday. We'll just have to wait and see.

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/11/11
Another zero night for us. I think we are short on net. If the river does not go up today and the weather lets us out we will add 100 yards on. The river was at 2.98' and 52F. We did get can get one carp and one gizzard shad.

DEP News Release, 4/7/11
DEP Negotiates Improved New York City Reservoir Operating Plan to Better Protect Delaware River's Resources

Woo's Shad Fishing Report, 4/5/11
Boats were catching in Lambertville, yesterday 4/4, even though water temperature was less than 50F. (lowest temp. @ which A. shad normally strike).

Many feel that this is an indication that there are a lot of shad in the river, that the 2011 run will be a good one. Catching will continue to get better, of course, as the water warms.

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/4/11
Shad-O! We got 8 shad last night. We kept 3 bucks and 1 roe. We returned 4. The water temp was 44F. The river was at 2.86. There was good size to all the fish. We also got 2 bass, 1 catfish and 1 sucker. Now we have to wait and see what this rain will do to us.

As always, we are looking for any extra hands to volunteer. If you think you might be interested, come on down and check us out.

Lewis Fishery Report, 4/2/11
Well, we are off and running. Went out for the first haul Saturday. Windy and cold, but that's the way it should be. Water temp was 41F. River was at 2.84'. We only used 100 yards of net. Got one trout. The water was clear and there was no trash to speak of (one good thing from the high water at the start of March). We will be out again Monday starting around 6pm.

As always, we are looking for any extra hands to volunteer. If you think you might be interested, come on down and check us out.

Lewis Fishery Report, 3/28/11
Due to high water and our bridge going out at the beginning of the month we are a bit late in getting started this year. If the weather/water cooperate we will go out next Saturday (4/2) for our first haul.

If you would like to receive Lewis Fishery updates directly send your e-mail address and contact info to

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Last Updated: June 6, 2011