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Threadfin Shad
#119895 05/24/08 08:28 PM
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Why aren't threadfin shad a common item?

What makes threadfin shad different than any other forage species being stocked? The spawn twice a year right? They are also readily available at the hatcheries for "expensive" transport. Are they harder to keep in holding tanks for customer pick up? I know from experience that they are no harder to transport in spring than BG or CC.

Are threadfins a marketing ploy, only intended for the guys with the big pocketbooks? If not, where can I buy a few pounds in oxygen bags for transport?

What is the mystery with this fish?????

Re: Threadfin Shad
Eastland #119905 05/24/08 11:04 PM
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Eastland,

We finally got around to stocking threadfins in our ponds.
I can only think of four issues with them:

1. If you are stocking them into an environment with an abundance of predators (especially a stunted bass pond), and they have already spawned-out prior to stocking, it's tough to establish them. They'll school up and then get anihilated.

2. They're not a cold water fish. IIRC, they'll live 4 out of 5 winters in the Arkansas/Oklahoma latitude. You and I shouldn't have that problem, but northern pondmeisters do.

3. It's been said that they're not a real hardy fish. Or, as one of Todd's guys said: "If you look at them wrong, they'll die." I don't know if/how this is factors into who will stock them and when.

4. As far as I can tell, not many hatcheries actually raise them. I know Todd (and I'm sure others) catch them in larger lakes in the spring when they're spawning near shore. That makes them tougher to get, I suppose.

That's just my amateur knowledge of them. I know that once established, they seem to really pack the weight on your predator fish.


"Only after sorrow's hand has bowed your head will life become truly real to you; then you will acquire the noble spirituality which intensifies the reality of life. I go to an all-powerful God. Beyond that I have no knowledge--no fear--only faith."
Re: Threadfin Shad
davatsa #119912 05/25/08 07:33 AM
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Threadfin shad are a great forage fish in the south.
The problem over the years has been availability. Not many fish farms have been willing to raise them. Those fish farms north of an east-west line going through Waco, Texas, run a high risk of winter mortality.
Those few people who raise them work all winter to keep them alive and some farms try to only keep enough of them alive to provide their own broodstock and then sell babies in mid-summer.
They are, by far, the toughest fish of all to handle. When seining, you can't pick them up with a dip net. You must "swim" them into a tub, carry the tub up the bank, and gently release into the haul truck, then bring them to the vats, release and salt heavily. Let them "harden" for at least a day, dip off the dead fish and you might be able to sell some to walk up customers, because then you can dip and put into a bag.
Better yet, most people who sell them load straight out of a pond, drive and stock your pond.
So, if fish farmers can make it through a winter and handle the fish without too many death loss, they have a profitable creature.
Several of the people who sell them now will harvest from a public lake and either stockpile or deliver straightaway. They watch for the silvery creatures to start their spawn and then catch them when they are near the shore.
For pondmeisters, there are other worries. Since threadfins are mostly filter feeders, it's best to have your pond or lake fertile when the fish arrive. If your water is clear, two things happen and both are "bad." There isn't a proper food chain and bass can easily see your new additions...and eat them like candy.
I have seen lakes stocked with threadfins at 5,000 per acre and never establish a population while I also have seen lakes stocked at 5 per acre have the largest population of shad you can imagine.
Threadfins only grow to 7 inches long and have a normal lifespan of probably three years, tops. Because of that, they reproduce heavily and often, when the temperatures are right.
So, here's the chain of events for threadfin.
1) Availability from producers is limited.
2) Handling is tough.
3) They die when water temps push into the low 40's
4) Clear water in your pond, survival rates are low.
5) Cost is driven up because we now pay $4.50 a gallon for diesel.

If you can overcome all that....threadfins are a great idea. Here's why.
We all know that bluegill are the backbone of the food chain. They always have been and will continue to be the item of choice to raise largemouth bass. Threadfin shad are a great second choice in waters where they can live with the lowest risk of dying each winter. They are so prolific that they actually increase the odds of bluegill survival, thus "creating" a new food chain.
Threadfins move out into open water and bass will follow them for the chase. I have seen some fabulous topwater action in July from bass chasing shad in the middle of a lake. For each day a bass is suspended in the middle of a lake, the shoreline forage fish have another day to live and grow. When a lake has spawning threadfins, the statistical odds of bluegill survival increases. The main significance of that factor is that if a bluegill is eaten at 1" of length, that fish weighs less than one pound per thousand. But, if that same bluegill lives an additional four weeks and can grow to 2.5", it weighs at least 15-20 pounds per thousand. If it can make it to 45 days, it weighs 30-35 pounds per thousand and is a more significant forage fish for the size class of bass that needs it the most...those fish in the 15-18" sizes.
If pondmeisters are able to figure out what needs to be done to set the stage for threadfins and then find a supplier who can provide good, healthy fish and you don't mind paying the freight, threadfins are a great idea.
They are still cheaper than a bass boat.



Teach a man to grow fish...
He can teach to catch fish...
Re: Threadfin Shad
Bob Lusk #119953 05/25/08 02:16 PM
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Great answer!


Re: Threadfin Shad
david u #119963 05/25/08 05:48 PM
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TShad archives.

http://www.pondboss.com/forums/ubbthread...c2a4#Post106122

Here is the info on another plus of TShad - they are high in lipids and nutrients which are great for predator fish.



The clupeids examined during the present study

appear to be intermediate in nutritional value in

comparison with other forage fishes. Mean fat percentage

of Dorosoma spp. (24.2%) exceeded that

ofLepomis spp. (15.2%) and fathead minnows Pimephales

promelas (19.1%), but was less than that

of mosquitofish Gambusia affinis (25.8%) and

golden shiners Notemigonus crysoleucas (34.8%)

(Davis and Boyd 1978). Bluegills Lepomis macrochirus

had lower caloric contents (1.06 kcal-g-

on a wet-weight basis) than gizzard and threadfin

shad (1.17 kcal-g on a wet-weight basis) (Minton

and McLean 1982); preliminary data collected

for the present study also showed Lepomis spp. to

he lower in caloric content than the clupeids. The

primary reason for the lower energy content of

Lepomis spp. is probably a higher ash content,

rather than a lower fat content. Mean ash content

of Lepomis spp. was 23.8%; the mean for Dorosoma

spp. was 16.1% (Davis and Boyd 1978).

Scales ofLepomis spp. are larger and thicker than

those of Dorosoma spp., and their skeletal structure

may be more substantial. Scales are about 30-

35% ash on a dry-weight basis (Lagler et al. 1977).


Last edited by ewest; 05/25/08 06:56 PM.
















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