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UDC Will Present “The Founding Fish: American Shad on the Delaware River” on May 5

NARROWSBURG — The Upper Delaware Council (UDC) will host a presentation on “The Founding Fish: American Shad on the Delaware River” on Thursday, May 5, at 7 p.m. at the UDC office, 211 Bridge St., Narrowsburg, NY. Virtual and call-in options are also available for the public.

National Park Service (NPS) Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River Natural Resources Chief Don Hamilton will show a video on the life history of American shad and describe the annual Young-of-Year American Shad sampling work by collaborative agencies.

Additionally, John Pizzolato will preview plans for the inaugural “Festival of the Founding Fish: Upper Delaware Shadfest 2022” coming up on May 20-22 with numerous fun and educational events scheduled from Hancock to Port Jervis.

The Delaware Company, Inc., Upper Delaware Scenic Byway, Inc. (UDSB), and several local business/community groups are organizing the festival which has received funding support through grants from the 2022 Sullivan County Plans & Progress program and the UDSB.

Multiple venues along the UDSB New York State Route 97 corridor will host activities celebrating the historical and environmental significance of American Shad.

Among the anticipated events are festival opening and closing parties in the two gateway communities; a Shad Shindig at Fort Delaware Museum of Colonial History in Narrowsburg; shad cooking and fishing demonstrations; theatrical screenings; live musical performances; plein air painting; lectures; a river flotilla; book readings by local luminaries; children’s stories, crafts, and an art contest; and shad-themed food and drink specials at restaurants.

The Delaware River’s American shad spring spawning run has occurred for the past 10,000 years as the migrating fish swim 330 miles up the undammed river from the ocean, while providing an abundant food source for numerous species of wildlife and aquatic life along the way, and a challenge for anglers seeking to catch the 16-24”, greyish-backed schools of shad. The Delaware River is also home to the last remaining commercial shad netting fishery in Lambertville, NJ.

The UDC monthly meeting to follow will include status reports from the Delaware River Basin Commission, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, National Park Service, and the UDC Executive Director; discussion of old and new business; and public comment.

All UDC meetings are open to the public. For further information on how to participate via a Zoom option, call (845) 252-3022 or email

Please check or UDC social media pages for any meeting updates.


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