Status of American Shad in North Carolina


T M. Sholar

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Proceedings of a Workshop on American Shad

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Data on American shad have been collected from various parts of North Carolina. Nursery areas, spawning areas, and data on adult populations were determined for each major river system and offshore. Shad were found to live up to nine years in North Carolina and spawn as many as six times. The number of repeat spawners varied from 19 percent in the tributaries of Albermarle Sound to near zero in the Cape Fear River. American shad support a commercial and recreational fishery in North Carolina. Gill nets are the primary method of harvest with pound nets, and haul seines also being used. Approximately 200,000 pounds are landed annually, which is drastically less than in the past. The reason for the decline of American shad in North Carolina is unknown. However, overharvest has probably had a significant role, as well as pollution, siltation, and dams.

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