A member of the Clupeidae family of herring and shad, the hickory shad is of significant recreational interest, being a friskier, although smaller, cousin of the American shad.
IdentificationGray-green on the back and fading to silver on the side, the hickory shad has clear fins, with the exception of the dusky dorsal and caudal fins, which are occasionally black edged. It has a strongly oblique mouth, a lower jaw that projects noticeably beyond its upper jaw, and a cheek that is longer than or about equal to its depth.
There is a blue-black spot near the upper edge of the gill cover, followed by a clump of indistinct dusky spots that extends below the dorsal fin. There are also teeth on the lower jaw and 18 to 23 rakers on the lower limb of the first gill arch.