(Alosa and Dorosoma sp.)
There are several different shad species that can occur in the Patuxent River. The shad are somewhat similar in appearence to one another and quite often they are simply recorded as shad species when identification is difficult. Shad are caught annually at King’s Landing but are somewhat uncommon. The shad has been an important commercial fish for many years. In fact, their populations have suffered due to over fishing and to alterations of waterways that have prevented the fish from reaching their traditional spawning grounds in freshwater rivers and creeks. Shad are important as food for wildlife such as eagles and ospreys.
Each year shad will travel up rivers and streams to fresher water for spawning. Depending upon the variety of shad, they may live in the Chesapeake Bay during the remainder of the year or spend time in the Patuxent River.