Shad, American – U.S. Atlantic
American Shad are naturally found from Florida to Canada, but have also been introduced into U.S. West Coast waters.
American Shad hatch in freshwater, spend part of their life in the ocean, and then return to freshwater rivers to spawn. Historically they spawned in almost every accessible river and tributary on the Atlantic coast, but blockage of these rivers has significantly reduced their spawning habitat.
Despite the closure of ocean fisheries in 2005 and management measures throughout their range, abundances of American Shad are greatly reduced compared to historical levels and do not appear to be recovering.
The commercial fisheries that still exist capture American Shad with gillnets and pound nets.