American Shad

Scientific Name: Alosa sapidissima

Classification:  Game Fish
Abundance: Coastal rivers during spring spawning runs.

Sport Fish Profile (pdf)    Species Profile  (pdf)


Additional Information

Native to Atlantic slope basins, American shad are an anadromous species, meaning that they spend the majority of their adult life in the ocean and only enter freshwater in the spring to spawn. Each spring, American shad ascend the Roanoke, Chowan, Neuse, Tar and Cape Fear rivers in North Carolina.


North Carolina offers some great fishing opportunities. If you are a resident or visitor to the state, please review the links below to ensure that you understand the rules, regulations and other guidelines.

The following fishing regulations are effective August 1, 2018 to July 31, 2019.

Inland Fishing

Inland Fishing Regulations
Regulatory authority between the Wildlife Resources Commission and Division of Marine Fisheries. Inland game fish regulations include Manner of Taking, Seasons and Using Trotlines and Set-hooks.



Saltwater Fishing


There are no closed seasons on inland game fishes with the following exceptions