A photo of a Gizzard Shad

About Gizzard Shad

Dorosoma is Greek for "lance body", referring to the lance-like shape of young shad. The species epithet cepedianum refers to the French naturalist Citoyen Lacepede. Gizzard shad are usually easily distinguished from threadfin shad by the fact that the upper jaw projects well beyond the lower jaw. Amateur ichthyologists can run a finger underneath the mouth forward, and if the fingernail catches on the upper jaw and opens the mouth, in most cases the fish is a gizzard rather than a threadfin shad. The anal fin usually has 29-35 rays, as opposed to 20-25 rays found in threadfin shad. The upper surface is silvery blue, and grades to nearly white on the sides and belly. Fins do not have the yellowing tint present in threadfin shad. Unlike threadfin shad, the chin and floor of the mouth in this species is not speckled with black pigment. Although the species commonly grows to lengths of 9-14 inches, some have been reported to exceed 20 inches in length. In Texas the record (taken with a spear gun) is an 18.25-inch specimen that weighed in at 2.97 pounds.

Common Names

Shad, Hickory Shad, Herring, Skipjack, Skipjack Herring

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