Many of you have probably noticed a considerable number of gizzard shad belly-up in the water. We understand that several were spotted in Big Rock Bay and a few other places. The Association volunteers are on top of this! Brad Barnhart, Chair of the Fisheries and Wildlife Committee, consulted with a fisheries biologist.
The biologist said that it’s probably the stress of them moving in and out to spawn and they need a high level of oxygenated water in which to live. With the recent rain and dramatic change in water temperatures – up and down about 8 degrees – the shad were probably caught in a layer of the water column that did not supply enough oxygen and died. This is common in the late winter and early spring – many shad are dead after the ice melt or the hard winter. In addition, this is a species that tends to overpopulate and we try to control their numbers with other fish that find them delicious.