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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - 27 Hickory Shad SSR 2014

Marine Fisheries

Hickory Shad

Hickory Shad - 2014

Stock Status – Unknown – Commercial landings increased in 2013 and the price per pound is above the ten-year average. The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries has not conducted any directed sampling since 1993.

Average Commercial Landings and Value 2004-2013 – 93,549 lbs./$22,278

2013 Commercial Landings and Value – 71,326 lbs./$29,144

Average Recreational Landings 2004-2013 – unknown, 2013 – 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 to the Interjurisdictional FMP 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.

2013 Regulations – There is no size limit. The recreational bag limit in Albemarle Sound is a 10-fish aggregate (hickory and American combined) per person, per day, of which only one American Shad can be taken within the 10-fish aggregate. The Cape Fear River and tributaries has a 10-fish aggregate of which no more than 5 may be American Shad. In the Pamlico and Pungo Rivers, Pamlico Sound, and other coastal and joint waters the limit is no more than 10 fish in the aggregate 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– Not Available

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.

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

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