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#255559 04/20/11 04:50 PM
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Can some one tell me where I can buy Gizzard Shad? I am in south east Pennsylvania.

I am particularly looking for 8-12 inch shad.

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Welcome to the forum...

Are these fish for pond stocking or fishing with?

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They can take over a pond. Have you checked here about their use.
















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That is why I asked the question, what are you using them for...

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As Eric aptly showed in the above pics, be aware of what size gshad can get in good habitat. Gshad are known to eat fish pellets. Do you want that to occur and do you want that large of a preyfish taking up pond space that is not available as good table fare? Gshad have a place as forage in some fisheries, just make sure your fishery will benefit from gshad. Do your homework and it would not hurt to seek 'GOOD' professional advice on this topic. IMO the pond should be electrofished and evaluated before adding gshad. Often there are other forage items that can be used/added to suppliment the forage base while creating less impact on the ecosystem. It is proven that diversity of foarge is very beneficial to predator based fisheries.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 04/21/11 10:37 AM.

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Someone stocked GS in a local lake years ago to (I assume) help the LMB population because LMB "always" grow big when shad are in the lake. whistle

Now that lake has a 60+% biomass comprised of GS......

I doubt that Northern Lakes or Ponds will be able to grow LMB large enough to prey on adult GS.


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Northern LMB can't prey on the ones I posted above. If they can I am coming fishing and bringing saltwater gear.
















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There are some lakes that grow northern LMB that big, they are generally well managed and not over fished. If large numbers of quality bass are removed, as happens in many northern lakes you get small bass and stunted panfish. In our private ponds we generally don't remove enough bass. In public lakes, many I see have too many bass removed.

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ewest, Darlene should be getting to that size by now!


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Guys IIRC those big GShad above were 20 inches and 3 lbs. +-. Even assuming a LMB will eat something half its length (more like 1/4 to 1/3 but on shad 1/2 is not unreasonable)). Have you got LMB 40 inches ? At 40 inches you are talking 30 lb LMB. Can you say world record ?

40 X 40 X 24 / 1000 = 38.4
40 X 24 X 24/ 800 = 28.8
















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I'm sure it's the exception but there is an 800 acre lake in northeast Indiana that seems to keep the gizzard shad in check due to all the predator species. Largemouth, smallmouth, rainbow trout, brown trout, walleye, and northern pike. Apparently there are enough of the predator fish that not too many of the shad reach a large size. It's also a very clear lake (about 20 feet of clarity) so perhaps the shad are easily picked off?

There are 20 pound pike (the state record over 30 pounds came from the lake) so perhaps they crop some of the larger shad too?


If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






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Cecil, I'll bet the water clarity has a lot to do with it. Less shad recruitment and pike in the lake.

I know what Bob recomends, but even if I was in the South and had a lake with large amounts of double digit LMB I still wouldn't stock them.


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About the only predators out there that can eat gshad that size would be extremely large stripers, flatheads, blue cats and esox species.

The question becomes, how many gshad in a population actually get that size? Having a very small percentage of your gshad population reach that size wouldn't be an issue. They would be your brood stock. The idea is that the predators in your pond crop off the vast majority of them before they can grow to such sizes. Gshad had insanely high fecundity and fast growth rates. Gshad in VA is usually over 6" by their first fall. By their second year they're often over 12".

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That size was common when Dave et al shocked them up. They were not expecting all of them to be huge.
















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GShad are not as big of a problem in big water like CB!'s 800 acre example. In small plankton productive ponds they overwhelm everything else and suppress spawning. There are some examples of ponds where they worked ok due to exterem predation.

No way they will go in our waters. Way to much risk of bad results. Plus we are not trying to be a trophy LMB lake. We have had LMB up to 14 lbs without them so why take that risk.

Last edited by ewest; 04/22/11 09:25 PM.















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Ewest I know you do think it is worth the risk stocking gizzard shad. However example after example from our shocking indicates otherwise. Again right before the conference tons of big bass, lots of bluegill and lower recuritment of bass at this point all positive for this golf course lake. If they continue with low recurtment we will adress the issue however for this 80 acre lake in the past it was alck of harvest that was the major issue at hit point the lower recurtment is a bonus.

Tuesday this week, same deal, yes he had gizzard up to 16" but still no issues like your talking about. I have always discussed with kid gloves but pushing them more and more due to persoanl observations. Probably 50 lakes now shocked with Gizzard and only one would I classify as gizzard shad lockup all others the biggest bass we see all year.


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One thing I've been wondering, are Channel Cats (8 Lb range) quick enough to catch up with a GS? If they are, my Gizzards don't stand a chance. I've been thinking about removing my CC, but if the Cats can chase down the Shad, I might leave some in.

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Lots of GShad studies show exactly what is described on numerous threads here. Can it work - yes , can it fail horribly - yes. I am not looking for trophy LMB and don't want to be an experimental result. If others want to try that's fine with me - hey its your pond or clients. Purpose is to know the possibilities and make informed decisions.

My 2 cents if you want to try GShad then have highly productive water , a TShad population established first and lots of big predators.

Last edited by ewest; 04/24/11 08:33 AM.















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Ewest as always well stated. It is not for everyone and we talk lots of folks out of stockign them. However we are also suggesting more often than in the past based on our experience, current pond status and clients goals.


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The ultimate goal for your body of water with things taken into consideration like your habitat, predator base, and preferred management techniques all need to be taken into consideration before stocking gizzards. You want to be well informed of the risks (pros/cons). One thing you have to realize is that gizzard shad stocking is generally considered a very high risk investment, but with anything that is high risk, you have a chance for very high reward. typically though you dont want to risk everything you have into one basket at one time so the only time I would play with high risk would be if you could live life as usual even if the risk fails.

Gizzard Shad are a tool, but not a tool for everyone. Finding them available for pond stocking is a whole nother deal, bucket stocking is usually the way they are introduced.


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I would think TShad would be best at first, I have thought about bucket stocking these. The issue I worry about is introducing GS with them, and in my pond that could be an issue.

It is a shame you can not eat them since they can get to large size.

One thing that would be neat would be to grow some GS out in a pond for bait purpose. Just wondering what size of Catfish you would get on a jug line with a 2 pound GS as bait?

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Tshad are only an option for at best the southern third of the country. If you want shad in the north, it is gshad or none. The Hispanics where I work eat gizzard shad. When they drained the one lake last year for dam repairs, there were a couple dozen of the them gigging them with spears in the puddles and taking them home to eat. Along with any other fish they could catch... I'll pass.

I use live gizzard shad in the 10"-14" range on the Potomac River. My largest blue cat to date is 57 pounds. There are bigger ones out there and they are getting bigger every day!

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Originally Posted By: CJBS2003
I use live gizzard shad in the 10"-14" range on the Potomac River. My largest blue cat to date is 57 pounds. There are bigger ones out there and they are getting bigger every day!


Probably thanks in large part to all the farming runoff we send in that direction! Man, 57 pounds is a big fish - do you have any pics? I'd love to see one that size.


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Take a day off work and make the hour and half drive east and you can see them in person...

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If you want to guide, I'll find a day. It's a little more than an hour and a half, but that would be a blast. Just say the word!


Todd La Neve

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March and Sept/Oct are my favorite cat months. Only really bad time is mid June through early July as they are busy getting the nasty on... We'll find a day.

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Sounds good to me. That far out I can plan it pretty solidly.


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