Alosa mediocris - (Mitchill, 1814)
Hickory Shad
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Alosa mediocris (Mitchill, 1814) (TSN 161704)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.103525
Element Code: AFCFA01040
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Fishes - Bony Fishes - Other Bony Fishes
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Actinopterygii Clupeiformes Clupeidae Alosa
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea, and W.B. Scott. 1991. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 20. 183 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B91ROB01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Alosa mediocris
Taxonomic Comments: Formerly placed in genus Pomolobus. Forms a geographically separated species pair with A. chrysochloris (see Lee et al. 1980).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 14Oct2011
Global Status Last Changed: 14Oct2011
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: Large range in fresh water and salt water along Atlantic coast of North America; not abundant;
Nation: United States
National Status: N4 (14Oct2011)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Connecticut (S2), Delaware (S2), District of Columbia (S2B), Florida (SNR), Georgia (SNR), Maine (S4), Maryland (S3), Massachusetts (SNA), New Hampshire (SNA), New Jersey (S4), New York (S2), North Carolina (S3), Pennsylvania (S2), Rhode Island (SNR), South Carolina (S4), Virginia (S3)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 20,000-2,500,000 square km (about 8000-1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Range encompasses the Atlantic coast from the Kenduskeag River, Maine (and possibly Campobello Island, New Brunswick) to the St. Johns River, northern Florida (Page and Burr 2011). The species is most common in the mid-Atlantic region (e.g., Chesapeake Bay, North Carolina).

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species is represented by a large number of freshwater occurrences (subpopulations).

Population Size: 10,000 - 1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but presumably exceeds 10,000; this is the least common of the Atlantic coast Alosa (Page and Burr 2011).

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Although this species likely has been negatively affected by dams, water pollution, and other forms of riverine habitat degradation, no major threats are known at the present time, and management has improved habitat conditions for this and other anadromous herrings in many river systems.

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable to increase of <25%
Short-term Trend Comments: Short-term trend is not well known but there is evidence that populations may be increasing in the core of the range.

Long-term Trend: Unknown

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (20,000-2,500,000 square km (about 8000-1,000,000 square miles)) Range encompasses the Atlantic coast from the Kenduskeag River, Maine (and possibly Campobello Island, New Brunswick) to the St. Johns River, northern Florida (Page and Burr 2011). The species is most common in the mid-Atlantic region (e.g., Chesapeake Bay, North Carolina).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, MAexotic, MD, ME, NC, NHexotic, NJ, NY, PA, RI, SC, VA

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
DE New Castle (10003), Sussex (10005)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
01 Lower Penobscot (01020005), Maine Coastal (01050002), Presumpscot (01060001), Lower Connecticut (01080205), Charles (01090001), Cape Cod (01090002), Narragansett (01090004), Pawcatuck-Wood (01090005)
02 Hudson-Wappinger (02020008), Lower Hudson (02030101), Sandy Hook-Staten Island (02030104), Crosswicks-Neshaminy (02040201), Lower Delaware (02040202), Delaware Bay (02040204)+, Brandywine-Christina (02040205)+, Mullica-Toms (02040301), Great Egg Harbor (02040302), Lower Susquehanna (02050306), Chester-Sassafras (02060002), Gunpowder-Patapsco (02060003), Severn (02060004), Choptank (02060005), Patuxent (02060006), Blackwater-Wicomico (02060007), Nanticoke (02060008), Pocomoke (02060009), Chincoteague (02060010), Middle Potomac-Catoctin (02070008), Middle Potomac-Anacostia-Occoquan (02070010), Lower Potomac (02070011), Lower Chesapeake Bay (02080101), Great Wicomico-Piankatank (02080102), Lower Rappahannock (02080104), Mattaponi (02080105), Pamunkey (02080106), York (02080107), Lynnhaven-Poquoson (02080108), Western Lower Delmarva (02080109)+, Lower James (02080206), Appomattox (02080207)
03 Lower Roanoke (03010107), Nottoway (03010201), Blackwater (03010202), Ghowan (03010203), Meheriin (03010204), Albemarle (03010205), Lower Tar (03020103), Bogue-Core Sounds (03020106), Middle Neuse (03020202), Lower Neuse (03020204), New (03030001), Upper Cape Fear (03030004), Lower Cape Fear (03030005), Northeast Cape Fear (03030007), Lower Pee Dee (03040201), Carolina Coastal-Sampit (03040207), Cooper (03050201), South Carolina Coastal (03050202), Edisto (03050205), Broad-St. Helena (03050208), Seneca (03060101), Middle Savannah (03060106), Lower Savannah (03060109), Lower Ogeechee (03060202), Ogeechee Coastal (03060204), Lower Ocmulgee (03070104), Altamaha (03070106), Cumberland-St. Simons (03070203), Upper St. Johns (03080101), Lower St. Johns (03080103), Cape Canaveral (03080202), Everglades (03090202)
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed (based on multiple information sources) Help
Ecology & Life History
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Reproduction Comments: Spawns in late winter or spring (as early as February in the southern part of the range). Eggs and larvae drift with current. Juveniles move to salt water by fall or early winter. Sexually mature in 2-4 years. Repeat spawning in subsequent years is common in at least some rivers.
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: Y
Long Distance Migrant: Y
Mobility and Migration Comments: Migrates between coastal river spawning habitat and nonspawning marine waters.
Marine Habitat(s): Near shore
Estuarine Habitat(s): Bay/sound, River mouth/tidal river
Riverine Habitat(s): BIG RIVER, CREEK, Low gradient, MEDIUM RIVER, Moderate gradient
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Habitat Comments: Adults live in saltwater except during the breeding season. Juveniles move from rivers to saltwater by fall or early winter; may linger in lower rivers, sounds, and bays before migrating to the sea. Spawning occurs as far as 200 km upstream from estuaries in creeks, ponds, lakes, and backwaters along major river courses (Manooch 1984), often in tidal freshwater areas.
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore, Piscivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore, Piscivore
Food Comments: Eats small fishes, squid, fish eggs, and crustaceans.
Length: 45 centimeters
Economic Attributes
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Economic Comments: This species is not commercially important, but it supports an increasing recreational fishery in the mid-Atlantic states.
Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Fishes with Anadromous Populations

Use Class: Freshwater
Subtype(s): Rearing & Migration Area, Spawning & Rearing Area
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals (including eggs and larvae) in appropriate habitat. For anadromous populations, occurrences are based on collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more spawning adults, redds, other evidence of spawning, or larvae or juveniles in appropriate spawning/rearing habitat.
Mapping Guidance: Conceptually, the occurrence includes the entire freshwater area used by the population, including spawning, rearing, and migration areas. For anadromous populations, an occurrence should extend from the most upstream spawning areas downstream to the ocean. However, it is desirable (and practical) to subdivide this sometimes very large occurrence, sometimes overlapping with many other spaghetti-like occurrences extending down from the upstream spawning areas to the ocean, into separate source features or sub-occurrences, labeled with a feature label that reflects the life history stage in that area. Moreover, it may make practical sense to treat the areas downstream of spawning and/or rearing areas as a mixed element animal assemblage: Freshwater Salmon Migration Corridor. This negates the need to separately map each occurrence down to the ocean from its upstream spawning location. Information about areas with different life-history uses can be generated by using best professional judgment by district or regional fish biologists and may or may not incorporate specific locational information from spawning surveys or other surveys.
Separation Barriers: Dam lacking a suitable fishway; high waterfall; upland habitat that is very unlikely to be submerged even during periods of exceptionally high water (e.g., 100-year flood or 1% flood).
Alternate Separation Procedure: For anadromous populations and migratory populations that have distinct and separate spawning and nonspawning areas, the area used by each population whose spawning area is separated by a gap of at least 10 stream-km from other spawning areas within a stream system is potentially mappable as a distinct occurrence that extends down to the ocean (but see mapping guidance), regardless of whether the spawning areas are in the same or different tributaries.

For other (e.g., nonanadromous) populations in streams, separation distance is 10 stream-km for both suitable and unsuitable habitat. However, if it is known that the same population occupies sites separated by more than 10 km (e.g., this may be common for migratory, nonanadromous populations), those sites should be included within the same occurrence. In lakes, occurrences include all suitable habitat that is presumed to be occupied (based on expert judgment), even if documented collection/observation points are more than 10 km apart. Separate sub-occurrences or source features may usefully document locations of critical spawning areas within a lake.

Separation Justification: The separation distance is arbitrary but was selected to ensure that occurrences are of manageable size but not too small. Because of the difficulty in defining suitable versus unsuitable habitat, especially with respect to dispersal, and to simplify the delineation of occurrences, a single separation distance is used regardless of habitat quality.

"Restricted movement is the norm in populations of stream salmonids during nonmigratory periods," but there is considerable variation in movements within and among species (Rodriguez 2002). Redband trout in Montana had October-December home ranges of 5-377 m, consistent with small movements observed for radio-tagged brook trout and cutthroat trout during fall and winter (Muhlfeld et al. 2001). For nonanadromous populations, little is known about juvenile dispersal (e.g., how far fishes may move between between their embryonic developmental habitat and eventual spawning site).

In summer and fall, radio-tagged cutthroat trout in Strawberry Reservoir in Utah had single-month home ranges that were usually about 3-4 km in maximum length (Baldwin et al. 2002). In the Blackfoot River drainage, Montana, radio-tagged westslope cutthroat trout moved 3-72 km (mean 31 km) to access spawning tributaries (Schmetterling 2001). This indicates that migratory but nonanadromous populations may use extensive areas and that one should not invoke the 10-km separation distance without considering the full extent of the population.

Date: 25Nov2009
Author: Hammerson, G., and L. Master
Notes: This Specs Group comprises fish species that include anadromous populations (may also include nonanadromous populations), such as lampreys, sturgeons, herrings, shads, salmonids, and smelts.

Criteria for marine occurrences (Location Use Class: Marine) have not yet been established. These may not be needed for marine occurrences of species that likely will be dealt with as mixed element assemblages (e.g., Salmonid Marine Concentration Area).

Feature Descriptor Definitions:

Spawning Area: area used for spawning but not for rearing or migration.

Rearing Area: area used for larval/juvenile development but not for spawning or migration.

Migration Corridor: area used for migration but not for rearing or spawning.

Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
Help
Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 14Oct2011
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 14Oct2011
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Cooper, E.L. 1983. Fishes of Pennsylvania. Penn State Univ. Press, University Park, PA.

  • Hoover, E.E. (ED.) 1938. Biological Survey of the Merrimack Watershed. Survey Report No.3. New Hampshire Fish and Game Department., Concord. 238 pp.

  • Manooch, C. S., III. 1984. Fisherman's guide. Fishes of the southeastern United States. North Carolina State Museum of Natural History, Raleigh. 362 pp.

  • Mansueti, R.J. 1962. Eggs, larvae, and young of the hickory shad, Alosa mediocris, with comments on its ecology in the estuary. Chesapeake Science 3(3):173-205.

  • Nelson, J. S., E. J. Crossman, H. Espinosa-Perez, L. T. Findley, C. R. Gilbert, R. N. Lea, and J. D. Williams. 2004. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 29, Bethesda, Maryland. 386 pp.

  • Page, L. M., H. Espinosa-Pérez, L. T. Findley, C. R. Gilbert, R. N. Lea, N. E. Mandrak, R. L. Mayden, and J. S. Nelson. 2013. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Seventh edition. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 34, Bethesda, Maryland.

  • Page, L. M., and B. M. Burr. 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes: North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. 432 pp.

  • Page, L. M., and B. M. Burr. 2011. Peterson field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Second edition. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston. xix + 663 pp.

  • Page, LM, H.Espinoza-Perez, L.Findley, C.Gilbert, R. Lea, N. Mandrak, R.Mayden and J.Nelson. 2013. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico, 7th edition. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 34, Bethesda, Maryland.

  • Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea, and W.B. Scott. 1991. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 20. 183 pp.

  • Rodriguez, M. A. 2002. Restricted movement in stream fish: the paradigm is complete, not lost. Ecology 83(1):1-13.

  • Smith, C.L. 1985. The Inland Fishes of New York State. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Albany, NY. 522pp.

  • Warfel, H.E. 1939. Biological Survey of the Connecticut Wa tershed. New Hampshire Fish and Game Dept. Concord, NH. 2 56pp.

References for Watershed Distribution Map
  • Cooper, E. L. 1983. Fishes of Pennsylvania and the northeastern United States. Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park. 243 pp.

  • Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH). 2010. Ichthyology Collection: On-line Collection Database. Accessed May 2010. Online. Available: http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/Collection/collection.htm

  • Jenkins, R. E., and N. M. Burkhead. 1994. Freshwater fishes of Virginia. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland. xxiii + 1079 pp.

  • Lee, D. S., C. R. Gilbert, C. H. Hocutt, R. E. Jenkins, D. E. McAllister, and J. R. Stauffer, Jr. 1980. Atlas of North American freshwater fishes. North Carolina State Museum of Natural History, Raleigh, North Carolina. i-x + 854 pp.

  • Marcy, B. C., Jr., D. E. Fletcher, F. D. Martin, M. H. Paller, and M.J.M. Reichert. 2005. Fishes of the middle Savannah River basin. University of Georgia Press, Athens. xiv + 460 pp.

  • Master, L. L. and A. L. Stock. 1998. Synoptic national assessment of comparative risks to biological diversity and landscape types: species distributions. Summary Report submitted to Environmental Protection Agency. The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, VA. 36 pp.

  • Menhinick, E. F. 1991. The freshwater fishes of North Carolina. North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. 227 pp.

  • Murdy, E. O., R. S. Birdsong, and J. A. Musick. 1997. Fishes of Chesapeake Bay. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. xi + 324 pp.

  • Odom, M.C., R.J. Neves, and J.J. Ney. 1986. An assessment of anadromous fish migrations in the Chowan River drainage, Virginia. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Information Transfer, Fort Collins, CO.

  • Rulifson, R.A. 1994. Status of anadromous Alosa along the east coast of North America. Page 134-158 in J.E. Cooper, R.T. Eades, R.J. Klauda, and J.G. Loesch (editors). Anadromous Alosa Symposium. Tidewater Chapter, American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD.

  • Smith, C. L. 1985. The inland fishes of New York State. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Albany, New York, xi + 522 pp.

  • Straight, C.A., B. Albanese, and B.J. Freeman. [Internet]. [updated 2009 March 25]. Fishes of Georgia Website, Georgia Museum of Natural History; Accessed May 2010. Online. Available from: http://fishesofgeorgia.uga.edu

  • Whitworth, W. R., P. L. Berrien, and W. T. Keller. 1976. Freshwater fishes of Connecticut. Bulletin of the Connecticut Geological and Natural History Survey 101. vi + 134 pp.

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