Scaled collection of drawings of American Shad in front and side poses

The American Shad (Alosa sapidissima) is a fish loved for three primary reasons. First, for its roe. Second for its meat rich in omega-3 fatty acid and third, for recreational purposes like sport fishing and the annual shad festival. The fish inhabits the coastal waters of North America preferring to spend most of its time in the Atlantic ocean and only migrate to freshwater when it wants to spawn. The American Shad is also called Atlantic shad, herring jacks, or Potomac shad. They are classified under the family Clupeidae and recognized by their distinct keel on the belly, moderately compressed bodies, and sharp saw-like scales.

American Shad have a total length between 19”-24” (48-61 cm), body height of 5”-6.75” (12.7-17.1 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 3-8 lb (1.4-3.6 kg). The typical lifespan of the American Shad is 6-10 years.


*Under Development*

5”-6.75” | 12.7-17.1 cm
19”-24” | 48-61 cm
3-8 lb | 1.4-3.6 kg
Scientific Name:
Alosa sapidissima
6-10 years


Drawings include:

American Shad side elevation, front

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Freshwater fish are fish that spend some or all of their live in water with a salinity level lower than .05%. Freshwater fish, due to the segmented nature of ponds, lakes, and rivers, are subject to speciation similar to species on islands.