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Threadfin shad or Gizzard shad?
#524426 08/06/20 07:13 AM
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As I set out on the balcony here at the lake house I see schools of shad at the waters surface here in the cove. Small schools of them. I was thinking that I might be able to catch a few using a cast net and transfer them to the pond. It looks like have lost my TFS over the past 12 months due to them eaten or due to clear water this year. Pretty sure it was due to clear water because of all the Bushy pondweed. The pond has a bloom going on now with a dark olive green water color with about 3' of visibility. What I'm concerned about is, can I really tell the difference between TFS and Gizzard shad. I don't want any gizzard because of recent fish kill has caused me to lose my larger sized predator's in the pond. So, is it all that hard to tell the difference in the two shad if they are of smaller sized fish? I'm not so worried about them making the transfer from lake to pond this time of year. They will or will not make it. If just a few survived, it might work. Any one have much experience with telling the shad apart from each other if they are small sized? If you can pass the info along, that would be helpfull Thanks.

Last edited by TGW1; 08/06/20 07:15 AM.

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Re: Threadfin shad or Gizzard shad?
TGW1 #524452 08/06/20 03:31 PM
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Threadfins have yellow tails and their lower jaw projects slightly beyond their upper jaw. Gizzards don't have yellow tails (or only a little bit of yellow), and they look more blunt-nosed than TFS. Their upper jaw projects beyond their lower jaw.

[Linked Image from classconnection.s3.amazonaws.com]


"In the age of information, ignorance is a choice." - Donny Miller
Re: Threadfin shad or Gizzard shad?
TGW1 #524475 08/07/20 09:12 AM
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I would say go for it. If you are questioning a certain fish, don`t take the risk. I`m unfamiliar if TFS and Gizzard travel together in schools.


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Re: Threadfin shad or Gizzard shad?
Snakebite #524492 08/07/20 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Snakebite
I would say go for it. If you are questioning a certain fish, don`t take the risk. I`m unfamiliar if TFS and Gizzard travel together in schools.

I believe they do. I've caught both at the same time in my cast net many times.


"In the age of information, ignorance is a choice." - Donny Miller
Re: Threadfin shad or Gizzard shad?
TGW1 #524496 08/07/20 04:04 PM
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Thanks guys. I believe the schools of shad that I am seeing are small fish based on the size of the ripples I see on the waters surface. The size of the circle of ripples and with my experience seeing them in my pond over the past 5 yrs tells me the fish might be pretty small, maybe only an inch or so long. So I was wondering if it was harder to tell what species of shad when they are small? I may just have to seek out the larger 2 to 4" sized in order to identify the fish species.


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Re: Threadfin shad or Gizzard shad?
TGW1 #524565 08/11/20 06:37 AM
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I did throw the cast net in and around the cove in front of the lake house.
And I did catch around 20 of the shad. Turned out that about 2/3rds of the shad were gizzards. And it was fairly simple to tell the difference in the two species. By the time I got it done I was soaking wet from sweat. It was a really hot evening and i am not seeing the shad in the morning hrs. I am pretty sure the TFS were spawning since all the activity was done during the full moon and I have noticed I am seeing fewer schools since the moon phase is changing. I did not get any transferred to the pond. I was not set up for a transfer. Still working on how to get that done because the lake is low and I have to travel about 5 miles to get the boat in and out, because our community ramp is too shallow rite now. For it all to work out, I could use a second helper.


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Re: Threadfin shad or Gizzard shad?
TGW1 #524568 08/11/20 12:32 PM
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Pics ? Gizzard shad can take up a LOT of the carrying capacity of the pond. High numbers can greatly decrease a plankton bloom making the water clearer.

Gizzard Shad vs Threadfin Shad

[Linked Image from i74.photobucket.com]


Gizzard Shad

[Linked Image]

Last edited by ewest; 08/11/20 12:34 PM.















Re: Threadfin shad or Gizzard shad?
TGW1 #524602 08/12/20 06:01 AM
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Thanks Eric for the info on the shad. My biggest concern in doing this is letting some gizzards slip through my culling out the gizzards. But after looking at the shad I captured I think it is pretty easy to tell the difference in the two species. If I can get this done, I would go through the culling twice before I added any TFS to the pond. Another thing is the process of netting up the shad, culling, transfer and then adding the TFS to the pond might be a slow process and take a couple of weeks before I would have a hundred or so gathered up. It would be better if I could run my sein and captured more, but I've not figured how to do that in a lake where the shoreline is mostly Cypress trees. On the positive note, it looks like the majority of the lmb I have now are smaller where low numbers of TFS additions might survive and there is still alot of vegetation for cover. I might not get any of this done but I have not given up yet.


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Re: Threadfin shad or Gizzard shad?
TGW1 #524615 08/12/20 09:27 AM
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If you can get some adults about to spawn it won't take many to get things going.

















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