Hickory Shad - 2013
Stock Status – Unknown – Commercial landings fell in 2012 for the second year in a row. and are below the ten year average. The Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) has not conducted any directed sampling since 1993.
Average Commercial Landings and Value 2003–2012 – 93,310 lbs./$21,050
2012 Commercial Landings and Value – 65,645 lbs./$22,389
Average Recreational Landings 2003-2012 – unknown, 2012 – unknown
Status of Fishery Management Plan (FMP) – In North Carolina, hickory shad are included in the Interjurisdictional FMP, which defers to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) FMP compliance requirements. The ASMFC FMP for Shad and River Herring was approved in 1985 and Amendment 1 of this plan was approved in October 1998. Although Amendment 2 and Amendment 3 have been approved by ASMFC over the last two years, neither one deals directly with hickory shad.
Research and Data Needs – There is a need for all types of fishery dependent and independent data.
Current Regulations – There is no size limit. The recreational bag limit for shad is a 10-fish aggregate (hickory and American combined) per person per day.
Harvest Season - The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission adopted a rule in 1995 establishing a commercial harvest season January 1-April 14; it is unlawful to take hickory shad and American shad by any method except hook-and-line from April 15-December 31.
Size and Age at Maturity – Males: 11.5 inches fork length (FL) / 3–4 years
Females: 12.5 inches FL / 4–5 years
Historical and Current Maximum Age – 8 years
Juvenile Abundance Index 2003-2012 – 0.04, 2012 – 0.04
Habits and Habitats - Hickory shad are anadromous, spending the majority of their life in the ocean and returning to freshwater to spawn. Spawning occurs from March to May in the coastal rivers and tributaries. It is thought juvenile hickory shad do not use the same nursery areas as river herring and American shad, but move quickly to more saline waters.
For more information, contact Lindsey Staszak at Lindsey.Staszak@ncdenr.gov or 800-338-7805 or 252-264-3911.