Spawning habitat selection of hickory shad

North American Journal of Fisheries Management
By:  and 



We examined the spawning habitat selectivity of hickory shad Alosa mediocris, an anadromous species on the Atlantic coast of North America. Using plankton tows and artificial substrates (spawning pads), we collected hickory shad eggs in the Roanoke River, North Carolina, to identify spawning timing, temperature, and microhabitat use. Hickory shad eggs were collected by both sampling gears in March and April. The results from this and three other studies in North Carolina indicate that spawning peaks at water temperatures between 12.0??C and 14.9??C and that approximately 90% occurs between 11.0??C and 18.9??C. Hickory shad eggs were collected in run and riffle habitats. Water velocity and substrate were significantly different at spawning pads with eggs than at those without eggs, suggesting that these are important microhabitat factors for spawning. Hickory shad eggs were usually collected in velocities of at least 0.1 m/s and on all substrates except those dominated by silt. Eggs were most abundant on gravel, cobble, and boulder substrates. Hickory shad spawned further upstream in years when water discharge rates at Roanoke Rapids were approximately average during March and April (2005 and 2007), as compared with a severe drought year (2006), suggesting that water flows may affect not only spawning site selection but also the quantity and quality of spawning habitat available at a macrohabitat scale. Using our field data and a Bayesian approach to resource selection analysis, we developed a preliminary habitat suitability model for hickory shad. This Bayesian approach provides an objective framework for updating the model as future studies of hickory shad spawning habitat are conducted. ?? American Fisheries Society 2011.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Spawning habitat selection of hickory shad
Series title North American Journal of Fisheries Management
DOI 10.1080/02755947.2011.591263
Volume 31
Issue 3
Year Published 2011
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title North American Journal of Fisheries Management
First page 495
Last page 505
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