7 in blue fin shad in Lake Mead

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IMG_1396.JPG A Las Vegas friend is joining me on Powell for some fishing next month. He sent me some photos of the shad he is bringing including the attached 7 in blue fin shad! Wayne.....why is Mead such a better lake for shad??
 

wayne gustaveson

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The shad in the picture is a gizzard shad. A 7 inch fish is a great size to use for bait. These shad get much bigger than 7 inches. Here is a picture of Sam Sherwood holding the Lake Powell record shad which was 3.5 pounds.

Fish like small threadfin shad better. That is the preferred forage fish in both Lake Mead and Lake Powell.samsgzd.jpg
 

Dungee Fishing

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The shad in the picture is a gizzard shad. A 7 inch fish is a great size to use for bait. These shad get much bigger than 7 inches. Here is a picture of Sam Sherwood holding the Lake Powell record shad which was 3.5 pounds.

Fish like small threadfin shad better. That is the preferred forage fish in both Lake Mead and Lake Powell.View attachment 914

Wayne, any subtle conclusions you can come to with that shad from Mead regarding mussels? Seeing a 7" shad surprise you at all? Mean nothing etc.?
 

wayne gustaveson

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Wayne, any subtle conclusions you can come to with that shad from Mead regarding mussels? Seeing a 7" shad surprise you at all? Mean nothing etc.?

There is very little difference between gizzard shad growth in Powell and Mead. Mead is a bit warmer so shad will grow slightly faster there.

Both gizzard and threadfin shad grow very fast in both Lake Powell and Mead. Young threadfin and gizzard shad are the small shad targets of the slurping process stripers go through in June-July. By late fall or early spring all young gizzard shad grow to about 5- 7 inches while threadfin stop at 2-3 inches. Stripers like the smaller forage fish but if threadfin are not available then gizzard shad are eaten.

No - seeing a 7 inch gizzard shad is part of the annual growth process of forage fish in both lakes.

We have not confirmed either shad species eating mussels. Threadfin eat plankton their whole life while the 7 inch gizzards transition to eating algae on the bottom. It is possible for gizzards to eat mussels at this point - but it is not confirmed. That would be great if it would happen but it is not expected. UT DWR will do another food habits study on gizzard shad in November during our annual gill netting operation.
 

Chet Garling

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I saw a work boat in Bullfrog and Halls, were they doing shad sampling? Boils in the very back of Halls close to the trees, big boil in Bullfrog in main channel in front of covered slips, boil at the Horn, boils in main channel in front of Forgotten.
 

wayne gustaveson

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Staff member
I saw a work boat in Bullfrog and Halls, were they doing shad sampling? Boils in the very back of Halls close to the trees, big boil in Bullfrog in main channel in front of covered slips, boil at the Horn, boils in main channel in front of Forgotten.

They were finishing up the shad trawl sampling for 2017. We got less than expected (compared to July) but that happens when gizzards transition from plankton feeding in open water to bottom feeding in shallow water. They also had a great time catching stripers from boils in the back of Halls as well as smallmouth bass in the same location.

It appears that boils are less frequent but larger in size and numbers when they do come up.
 
I thought the blue dot on the fin was signature for thread fin......I take it the gizzard shad also has a blue dot on the fin??
 

PBH

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I thought the blue dot on the fin was signature for thread fin......I take it the gizzard shad also has a blue dot on the fin??
Threadfin usually have a yellow tail, while gizzard tails are gray (like the picture).
 
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