With so many shad in the Columbia River each year, Brad Smith of Bellingham, vice chairman of the state Fish and Wildlife Commission, asked at Saturday’s meeting if the Department of Fish and Wildlife is trying to promote the fishery.
Guy Norman, regional director for Southwest Washington, told Smith that shad are usable commercially for two purposes: crab bait and shad roe.
“Females are more valuable, but it’s difficult to sort them out,’’ Norman said.
Attempts were initiated a few years ago to develop a market for shad in China, he added.
“There is a robust recreational fishery on shad in the Columbia and a commercial fishery,’’ Norman said.
“When you have 2 million to 4 million shad and the recreational fishery intercepts 100,000 and about that for the commercials as well it doesn’t make much of a dent in the return,’’ he said.

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