Color of back green or greenish blue with metallic luster;
silvery sides, white underneath (color when fish enters fresh
water to spawn); belly with scutes forming distinct keel;
one or more dark spots in a row behind operculum; lower jaw
with pointed tip that fits into v-shaped notch in upper jaw.
fish: Other species of Alosa (shad and herring)
and Brevoortia (menhaden). Menhaden, which are often
referred to as "shad," have a rounder lower jaw
tip. American shad is an east coast species replaced on the
Panhandle coast by Alabama shad.
found: Offshore except during late winter spawning run
into east coast rivers, notably the St. Johns River.
Most catches 2 to 3 pounds; common to 5 pounds.
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; plankton feeder; but strikes small, bright
spoons or flies; their roe (as many as 30,000 in a single
female) is prized, the flesh full of fork bones. [back