American Shad, Alosa sapidissima






Like the other members of the herring family, the American shad has a strongly laterally compressed body with a series of ventral scutes. Its back is blue to greenish with silvery sides. They have a large dark spot behind that upper edge of the opercula, behind which is a rows of 4 - 6 smaller spots.The lateral line is absent and there are 50 –55 scales along their sides.   They have; 73 rakers on the lower limb of the first gill arch.  Lower jaw, when closed, nearly equal to upper, and fits into notch in upper jaw; maxillary extends at least toposterior margin of eye. The average size is around 15 inches, but can grow as large as 30 inches and weight as much as 3-5 lbs.