Gulf of Mexico drainages are inhabited by two alosine species, the anadromous Alabama shad Alosa alabamae and the skipjack herring A. chrysochloris. Although their distributions are reasonably well documented, the life history and ecology of both species has been incompletely investigated. Infrequent literature references suggest populations of both species have been adversely affected by river management activities throughout parts of their ranges. This purpose of this paper is to summarize available information concerning past and present distributions, population characteristics, spawning and fecundity, age and growth, and population trends of both species as well as threats to the species. Areas of research are suggested to maintain and possibly recover existing populations. ?? 2003 by the American Fisheries Society.