The 2017 catch index on the York River is 1.27. This is the lowest value of the 20 year time series. The York River restoration target of 17.44 is the mean index value of catches from the 1950's. The 2017 York River mean index is 4.72. Since 2005, index values have been low but stable. In prior years (1998 - 2004) index value were higher (5.42 - 14.71).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 contrast to trends on the other two rivers, catch indices on the York River have been trending downward and, with the exception of 2014, are at all-time lows. 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. In previous years there have been losses of shad to capture of brood stock on the Pamunkey River for hatchery restoration.