The 2016 catch index on the York River is 1.54. This is the lowest value of the 19 year time series. The York River restoration target of 17.44 is the mean index value of catches from the 1950's. The 2016 York River mean index is 5.05. Since 2005, index values have shown no recovery to the higher levels seen earlier in the time series. Catch indices on the York River have been trending downward through the time series and, with the exception of 2014, are close to all-time lows. The stock has persisted at a level close to or below the average abundance in the 1980's. However, those levels were incapable of supporting an active fishery. In comparison to the other rivers in Virginia, there is currently no stocking of hatchery fish in the York River. The stock is currently well below the proposed target and requires continued monitoring and protection.
Although there is a moratorium on American shad in the Chesapeake Bay, there are fish taken from several sources on the York River. There is a limited by-catch fishery of American shad on the York River from the Coleman Bridge to West Point. Mattaponi and Pamunkey tribal governments harvest American shad. There are also losses of shad to capture of brood stock on the Pamunkey River for hatchery restoration.