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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Hickory Shad - stock status report

Marine Fisheries

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Hickory Shad

Hickory Shad

Stock Status – Unknown – Commercial landings have continued to increase since 2007. Landings in 2010 are above the 10– year average. Two Amendments to the Shad and River Herring Fishery Management Plan that have recently been approved by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) do not directly address hickory shad. The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries has not conducted any directed sampling since 1993.

Average Commercial Landings and Value 2001– 2010 – 100,575 lbs./$22,495

2010 Commercial Landings and Value – 108,032 lbs./$20,951

Average Recreational Landings – Not available

Status of Fishery Management Plan (FMP) – In North Carolina, hickory shad are included in the Interjurisdictional FMP, which defers to the 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 pertains directly to hickory shad.

Research and Data Needs – There is a need for all types of fishery dependent and independent data.

Current Regulations – 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 2001– 2010 – 0.06, 2010 – 0.00 (not validated)

Habits and Habitats – Hickory shad are anadromous, spending the majority of their life in the ocean and returning to fresh water to spawn. Spawning occurs from March to May in the coastal rivers and tributaries. It is thought that juvenile hickory shad do not use the same nursery areas as river herring and American shad but move quickly to more saline waters. Hickory shad will remain in the ocean until reaching sexual maturity, returning to fresh water to spawn.

For more information, contact Kathy Rawls at Kathy.Rawls@ncdenr.gov or 1-800-338-7805 or (252) 264-3911.

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • (252) 726-7021 or 1-800-682-2632

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