York River

The 2021 catch index on the York River (0.96) increased from the 2020 value of 0.75. This is the second lowest value in the 21 year time series. The York River restoration target of 17.44 is the mean index value of catches from the 1950s. The 2021 York River mean index is 3.77. Since 2005, the catch index has shown no recovery to the levels seen earlier in the time series and is cause for concern. The stock has persisted at a level close to or below the average abundance in the 1980s. However, those levels were incapable of supporting an active fishery. 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. There is currently no stocking of hatchery fish in the York River.