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SUSQUEHANNA RIVER
American Shad Passages - 2008
Shad operations got underway in 2008 at Conowingo with 71 American shad passing through the fish-way on April 16, the 1st day of operations. This is one week earlier than the April 23, 2007 start of operations. Little movement at the fish-ways is seen until water temperatures reach at least 50°F, which encourages upstream shad movement.

With only 21 shad passing for the year at York Haven, a very disappointing 2008 season ended on June 12. The 2008 passage season was poor due to a combination of weak year classes and sustained high water flows and low water temperatures during the early portion of the run in April and most of May. These environmental conditions further limited movement of those fish that were present in the river.

Low numbers of shad passing Safe Harbor dam meant that few fish would be available to reach the fish-way at York Haven. By the time they did, unseasonably warm weather prevailed and water temperatures quickly climbed beyond those preferred for spawning. This can cause the urge to continue migrating upstream to weaken considerably. In addition, spent shad which had already spawned due to the rising water temperatures, were observed passing the viewing windows with increasing frequency. Hence, the decision was made by the appropriate agencies to discontinue upstream American shad passage for this year.

Weekly passage reports are provided below.

2008 Passages
  Fish Passage Facilities (downstream >>> upstream)
Date/Event Conowingo Holtwood Safe Harbor York Haven
Last day of operation June 6 June 9 June 11 June 12
Final count 19,914 2,795 1,252 21
June 14 - - 1,252 21
June 7 19,914 2,784 1,209 -
May 31 18,889 1,430 550 -
May 24 14,299 848 366 -
May 17 13,108 835 353 -
May 10 11,024 743 289 -
May 3 6,423 640 200 -
April 26 4,526 565 - -
1st shad April 16 April 21 April 28 May 27
1st day of operation April 16 April 21 April 28 May 21
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Current Year Susquehanna Passages -- Shad Index

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