A well-known forage ﬁsh and a member of the Clupeidae family of herring and shad, the threadﬁn shad rarely grows larger than 5 inches long, remaining small enough to be one of the most important open-water forage species for prominent freshwater gameﬁsh, especially bass and stripers.
IdentificationThe threadfin shad is silvery with a deeply compressed body and is most easily recognized by the elongated, thin last ray on its dorsal fin. It has a small, dark shoulder spot, and its upper jaw does not project past the lower jaw.
It is similar in appearance to other herring, including the similar-size but more northerly ranging alewives and the larger gizzard shad, with which it shares overlapping ranges and many of the same waters. It is distinguished from gizzard shad of similar size by its more pointed snout, terminal mouth, black dots on its chin and the bottom of the mouth, and yellow fins.