Status of Hickory Shad in North Carolina


M D. Marshall

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Proceedings of a Workshop on American Shad

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The hickory shad is most valued as a recreational species in North Carolina. Declines in hickory shad landings in North Carolina have occurred since 1945 when 854,400 pounds were landed. Gill nets accounted for 56.5 percent of the landings for 1960-1970. Pounds nets accounted for 40.1 percent during the same period. Spawning areas have been identified in the Chowan River extending into the Nottoway and Meherrin River above the Virginia border, in the Roanoke River from its mouth to river mile 105, and the Lower Cashie River, in the Tar River between river mile 60 and 121, and in the Neuse River in flooded creeks off the main channel. Spawning generally occurs during April and May. Nursery areas have not been delineated for hickory shad. Spawning migrations may begin at age two for both sexes in North Carolina. Tagging efforts have been unsuccessful. Hickory shad taken offshore were found most often north of Cape Hatteras in less than ten fathoms of water. The similarities in the harvest and utilization of American and hickory shad in North Carolina indicate that reasons for declines in the abundance of both species may be the same.

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