American shad are dark blue to green above with paler sides and a silver underbelly.
Behind the upper edge of their gill cover is a large dusky spot that is usually followed by several small, less distinct, dusky spots.
The midline of their belly is saw edged and sharp and their scales are large.
They have only one dorsal fin and one anal fin.
These fish have a deeply forked tail fin.
The American shad is a schooling and highly migratory species,
Shad are highly sought after as a sportfish because of their feisty nature and their ability to leap.
middle schools in Maryland are raising American Shad in their
classrooms and then releasing them into a local river.
Illustrations by Diane Rome Peebles