With shad making their way up the Delaware River to spawn, this is the time to hit the river to catch some of these hard fighters with soft mouths. And if you want to win some money at the same time, today’s the deadline to enter this years Bi-State Shad Fishing Contest that gets underway today and closes Sunday, April 29.
According to Eric Fistler, contest organizer, this year’s top prize will be about $15,000. There are also 10 monetary prizes for the heaviest shad and other prizes for youths up to 15, youths between 16-19, Seniors 65-74 and Seniors 75 and up in age.
Since we didn’t have the benefit of receiving the contest press release before the contest, today, April 26, is the last day to register by calling Fistler at 610-762-0440. Registration fees are $40 for adults and $30 for youths ages 15 and under.
For more information check www.shadfishingcontest.com.
SHAD HOTLINE REPORT
The Delaware River Shad Fishermen’s Hotline (610-954-0577) is reporting decent catches of shad, even some roe’s.
The other night, Steve Meserve of the Lewis commercial fishery in Lambertville, netted 5 bucks, two roe, a sucker and 12 gizzard shad. With the Delaware River water temperature finally beginning to rise, shad fishing should turn on.
FISH & BOAT COMMISSION DEPARATELY NEEDS A LICENSE INCREASE
At its recent quarterly business meeting, the Pennsylvania Board of Fish and Boat Commissioners reaffirmed its decision from last fall to reduce spending by $2 million beginning in July if the General Assembly does not act on legislation to raise license fees.
The statement by the Board comes as a fifth newspaper – the Erie Times-News – issued a formal opinion last week supporting the PFBC and calling on legislators to approve an increase in license fees, which haven’t risen in 13 years. The editorial boards of four other newspapers – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (2/13), Scranton Times-Tribune (3/20), Lewistown Sentinel (3/23), and Harrisburg Patriot-News (4/12) – have also issued opinions supporting the agency’s request for financial relief.
“We have tried for the last four years to impress upon the General Assembly the need for a license fee increase, but legislation has stalled each time in the House of Representatives,” said Board President Rocco Ali. “We are now at a crisis point and must proceed with the plans to cut costs beginning in July.”
The current plan for achieving the $2 million reduction in operating expenses would involve closing two warmwater hatcheries and one trout hatchery. The plan would reduce the number of trout stocked in 2019 by 7.5 percent and would result in severe reductions to the PFBC’s cooperative nursery program.
“The price of a general fishing license was last raised in 2005,” added PFBC Executive Director John Arway. “Since then, we have continued to provide the same level of services to our customers while seeking an increase from the General Assembly. Just last week, another editorial board came out and said our arguments for an increase are justified. But unless legislators act, we must cut expenses to remain financially solvent.”
Contact your state representatives and urge them to vote an increase if you want Pennsylvania’s most popular trout fishery to be maintained.
Nick Hromiak has been an outdoors and automotive writer for over 30 years. He's been published in numerous national and state-wide outdoor magazines and newspapers.