Gizzard Shad Captured

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wayne gustaveson

Staff member
Jordyn Baker sent a me a picture and a question. Here is her inquiry:

I just caught this fish on Monday near Lone Rock and was wondering if you might be able to identify what it is.

Now my reply:

You are an extraordinary angler. You have caught one of the most elusive fish in the lake. It is a Gizzard Shad. These forage fish were unintentionally introduced in 2000 by swimming down the San Juan river to Lake Powell. They occupied the whole lake by 2005.

They feed along the bottom eating algae so they are not often caught on lures. However, as the water warms they think about spawning and get feisty. A few fish are caught each spring. You are one of the lucky ones.

You can eat the fish but those that have tried it in the past mention that due to the high number of bones in the body these fish taste like "a mouthful of feathers".

Tell your friends at NAU you can take them on guided gizzard shad fishing trips at Lake Powell. You will be a big star...


Similair experience this year for me. Bouncing Kastmasters along the bottom in the very back of Bull Frog bay Feb 4th. Caught 4 gizzard shad; two foul hooks and two where they mouthed the Kastmaster. I found it odd to catch them in between striper bites and that I caught 4 in one morning!


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