Virginia Biologists Release 20,000 Shad in a Replenishment Effort

Nigel Allen ae446 at Freenet.carleton.ca
Fri Jun 4 00:13:43 EST 1993


Here is a press release from the Virginia Department of Game 
and Inland Fisheries. I downloaded the press release from 
the PR On-Line BBS in Maryland at 410-363-0834.

 Virginia Biologists Release 20,000 Shad in a Replenishment Effort
 To: City Desk, Environment Writer
 Contact: Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries,
          804-367-0509

   BENT CREEK, Va., June 3 -- Biologists from the Virginia 
Department of Game and Inland Fisheries today released
20,000 American shad on a journey that has been denied this fish
for almost 200 years.
   Some 10,000 shad will be placed in the James River at Bent Creek
and another 10,000 fish will be released into the Rivanna River at
Charlottesville, Va.  Biologists said that the 1 to 1 1/2 inch fish
will stay in the rivers until October or November, reaching a size
of four to six inches in length.  As winter approaches, the shad
will migrate down the river, swimming over the top of the dams in
the Richmond area, through the Chesapeake Bay and into the Atlantic
Ocean.  The shad will spend from four to five years in the
Atlantic, travelling as far as Nova Scotia, before returning to
Virginia waters as adult fish.
   Biologists hope at least 10 percent of the 20,000 fish released
today will return to Virginia in five years to spawn.  By that tlme
it is expected that dams on the James which have stopped the
passage of shad upriver for nearly 200 years will have been
modified to allow the fish to continue their journey upstream.
Hopefully, the shad's instincts will cause it to continue up the
river as far as Lynchburg...a stretch of some 140 miles unused by
shad since Thomas Jefferson was president.  Jefferson once noted
that shad in the Rivanna near his Monticello home were thick enough
to walk across.
   The shad will be protected on their journey by a VDGIF ban on
fishing on inland waters and a planned (1994) moratorium on shad
fishing in the bay and waters under the jurisdiction of the
Virginia Marine Resources Commission.
   The shad restoration effort is receiving assistance from
Dr. Greg Garman of Virginia Commonwealth University, and the
Pennsylvania Fish Commission.  Garman will conduct a study of
480,000 shad that are being raised at Harrison Lake National Fish
Hatchery in Charles City County and Pennsylvania Fish Commission's
Van Dyke Fish Hatchery.  The Pennsylvania Fish Commission hatched
the eggs used in today's release.  The eggs were collected by VCU
in April on the Pamunkey River with assistance from local watermen.
 -30-

-- 
Nigel Allen, Toronto, Ontario, Canada  ae446 at freenet.carleton.ca



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