- Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
Westborough — This fall, MassWildlife is teaming up with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Vermont Fish and Wildlife, and New Hampshire Fish and Game to better understand juvenile American shad production in the Connecticut River. The study focuses on the 3 major dammed sections of the Connecticut: Holyoke-Turner’s, Turner’s-Vernon, and Vernon-Bellows. Forage fish like American shad are important prey resources for numerous freshwater predators popular with anglers, including small and largemouth bass, walleye, and channel catfish. However, little is currently known about juvenile shad production. Using electrofishing sampling, biologists will learn about the relationship between the number of juvenile shad and the number of adult shad returning to the river to spawn. This coordinated effort will help biologists understand which areas of the Connecticut River have a higher supply of prey fish for predators and where anglers may find better fishing opportunities. Data may also be used to inform relicensing of dams and provide perspective on how current shad production compares to historical populations which existed before dams were installed.