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California Fish Species

Arctic Grayling
Black Bullhead
Black Crappie
Blue Catfish
Bluegill
Brook Trout
Brown Bullhead
Brown Trout
Channel Catfish
Chinook Salmon
Coho Salmon
Common Carp
Creek Chubsucker
Cutbow Trout
Cutthroat Trout
Flathead Catfish
Gizzard Shad
Golden Shiner
Green Sunfish
Hybrid Striped Bass(wiper/palmetto)
Kokanee
Lake Chubsucker
Lake Trout
Largemouth Bass
Northern Pike
Pumpkinseed
Rainbow Trout
Redear Sunfish
Sacramento Perch
Smallmouth Bass
Spotted Bass
Spotted Sucker
Spotted Tilapia
Steelhead
Striped Bass
Sunfish (Bream)
Threadfin Shad
White Bass
White Catfish
White Crappie
White Perch
Yellow Bullhead
Yellow Perch

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FishExplorer Lakes with Gizzard Shad
Only lakes in the Fish Explorer database are included in this listing. Lakes we feature on this website are hyperlinked.
Gizzard Shad
The Gizzard Shad, a member of the herring family, is native to fresh and salt waters of eastern North America. Its natural range includes the Saint Lawrence River and the Great Lakes and extends west into North Dakota. Gizzard shad are found as far south as eastern Mexico, and as far west as New Mexico. Its range has been greatly expanded through stockings throughout the west.  Preferred habitat is sluggish rivers and muddy bottomed lakes, avoiding fast waters.  Shad are pelagic and frequently feed near the surface. Gizzard shad are sensitive to sudden changes in temperature and oxygen content, which can cause large-scale, unexpected die-offs.
 
Gizzards have a deep, oblong body. Free of markings, they are grayish or silvery blue on top transitioning to silver on the sides with a whitish belly. The dorsal fin has a long ray that extends beyond the rest of the fin. The tail fin is deeply forked. Their mouth is inferior, sub-terminal, and toothless. Gizzard shad produce excessive slime and have a noticeable strong “fishy” smell. 
Eight to fourteen inches is typical for gizzard shad, but can exceed 18 inches.
 
Gizzard shad spawn in the spring, when water temperatures rise above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Diverse habitats are utilized for spawning. Eggs and sperm are broadcast simultaneously near the surface.  The eggs sink to the bottom and adhere to submerged objects.  Reservoir populations often spawn in creeks tributary to the reservoir. Shad are prolific, producing up to 400,000 eggs.
 
This schooling, pelagic fish is primarily a plankton feeder. They ingest bottom mud and sand to assist grinding of phytoplankton and zooplankton in their thick walled gizzard like stomachs.
Most Recent Gizzard Shad Forum Posts
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Gizzard Shad Articles, Blogs, & Podcasts
Blog: Boomerang Tool Co. Grip 11.07.12 by Joshua Christensen
Blog: An Eye Opening Morning at Boyd 10.18.12 by David Coulson
Blog: DIY No Drill Removable Kayak Fish FInder 09.29.12 by Joshua Christensen
Blog: Take Your Time 04.12.12 by Joshua Christensen
Blog: Spring (Rebirth) New podcasts coming Soon! 04.11.12 by Tim Emery
Blog: It's your fault! 02.21.12 by Tim Emery
Blog: 4 Apps Every Angler With A Smartphone Should Use 02.09.12 by Joshua Christensen
Blog: Clouser Pattern Detailed - New Article 12.16.11 by Matt Snider
California Gizzard Shad Photos by Fish Explorer Members
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