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American Shad: Alosa sapidissima

Appearance:

  • Color of back green or greenish blue with silvery sides, white underneath (colors darken when fish enters fresh water to spawn)
  • Belly with scutes forming distinct keel with one or more dark spots in a row behind operculum
  • The lower jaw has a pointed tip that fits into v-shaped notch in upper jaw

Habitat:

American shad are typically found offshore except during late winter spawning run into east coast rivers, notably the St. Johns River.

Behavior:

Anadromous species, coming into fresh water to spawn; young remain in fresh water to length of 2 to 4 inches, then move out to sea.

State Record:

This species is not currently eligible for a state record.

Fishing Tips and Facts:

Plankton feeders, but will strike small, bright spoons or flies. Their roe (as many as 30,000 in a single female) is prized and their flesh is full of fork bones.

Additional Information:


Image Credit: Diane Rome Peebles



FWC Facts:
Red tides have been documented along Florida's Gulf coast since the 1840s and likely occurred earlier. Fish kills around Tampa Bay were mentioned in the logs of Spanish explorers.

Learn More at AskFWC