What is an anadromous fish?

Anadromous fish live in the ocean, but must migrate to freshwater rivers and streams to spawn. American shad is one type of anadromous fish that lives in the Chesapeake Bay region.

How do dams affect rivers and streams?

Dams can block American shad and other migratory fish from reaching their upstream spawning grounds. Dams can also affect the natural flow of rivers and streams.

What is fish passage?

Fish passage is the ability of fish to migrate up rivers, streams and other waterways, often to access spawning or rearing ground. Barriers to fish passage (which include road culverts, dams, dikes and other obstructions) can reduce the distribution and habitat available to American shad and other migratory fish and, in some cases, eliminate fish populations altogether.

Are American shad endangered?

American shad are not listed as an endangered species. However, populations along the East Coast are very low.

Where do shad spawn?

Shad are anadromous, which means they migrate from the ocean to spawn in freshwater rivers and streams.

Where do shad live?

Shad spend most of their lives in the ocean. They migrate to freshwater rivers and streams to spawn. After hatching, young shad slowly migrate downstream, eventually leaving the Chesapeake Bay for the ocean.

How do fish passageways work?

Fish passageways allow American shad and other migratory fish to pass over dams and reach their upstream spawning grounds. There are five major fish passageway designs used in the Chesapeake Bay watershed: denil, steeppass, vertical slot, pool and weir, and fish lifts.

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