The American Shad Is The State Fish Of Connecticut. American Shad was designated as the State Fish by the General Assembly in 2003. It was selected For Some Reason: 1) The American shad is a fish native to Connecticut. 2) it was, and continues to be, of great commercial value to the State. 3) Connecticut State Fish has great historical significance in that it provided food for Native Americans and colonists. 4) because the hardiness of this migratory fish reflects the true Connecticut spirit as stated in our motto “Qui Transtulit Sustinet ” (He Who Transplanted Still Sustains).
The Scientific Name Of American Shad Is “Alosa Sapidissima”. A member of the herring family, State Fish Of Connecticut American shad is anadromous. it migrates from its saltwater habitat upriver with the single purpose of reaching a specific freshwater stream in which to spawn. Connecticut State Fish usually makes the journey from mid-April to mid-June, swimming upriver in groups without stopping to eat. The fish migrate in waves, or runs, that experts say are hard to predict.
For shad lovers, the art of catching the wave of shad has created a culture around shad fishing and eating timed with the height of the harvest in May and early June. The American Shad has a metallic blue/green back with silver sides and white underneath. There are one or more dark spots along the sides. Connecticut State Fish of this species can reach up to 30 inches in length, and weigh an average 3 -5 pounds. The Latin name Alosa sapidissima means “most delicious.” Both the meat and roe are considered delicacies.
The Connecticut State Fish is known for its bone structure. A Native American legend states that the shad originated as a porcupine that was continually complaining to the Great Spirit. As punishment, the Great Spirit turned the porcupine inside out and threw it in the water. Shad boning is a difficult task that takes years to learn. In Connecticut, State Fish Of Connecticut American Shad are caught by anglers and commercial fisherman.
Shad festivals and derbies are held in several Connecticut towns during the yearly shad run. American shad are prey for bigger fish, some birds, humans, bears, and dolphins. However, none of these predators depend on American shad to survive. State Fish Of Connecticut American shad also eat lots of crustaceans and fish that live in rivers while they are migrating. They may help control numbers of some of these animals.