Columbia River Shad?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by aplTyler, May 13, 2013.

  1. Klickrolf

    Klickrolf Active Member

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    Interesting, I'm not aware of much chinook spawning in the John Day Pool/Reservoir so I wouldn't consider it rearing habitat. Wouldn't most juvenile chinook in this area be passing through as smolts? Are juvenile shad consuming enough Daphnia to reduce chinook smolt survival? If so shad, as an invasive species, should be eradicated...though I'd like to catch a few before eradication commences.
     
  2. Nick Clayton

    Nick Clayton Active Member

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    Are shad good eating?
     
  3. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    On the East Coast, they are very popular as a menu item... over here... not so much. Some folks smoke them but as we all know, you can smoke an old wading boot and it will taste okay. I catch and release them for fun. The crab folks keep them for crab bait.
     
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  4. Blake Harmon

    Blake Harmon Active Member

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    People keep them for sturgeon bait as well. We pickled them and they were decent. I probably wouldnt keep them again, they were alot of work to descale and such. But they sure are fun on a fly. Its a early morning game.
     
  5. Flyborg

    Flyborg Active Member

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    They taste incredible, but getting past the bones is a bitch.
     
  6. Luke77

    Luke77 I hope she likes whitefish

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    We smoke them, pressure cook, and can them so you don't have to worry about the bones. Then we make a smoked fish cracker dip out of them.

    You wouldn't even know it was shad.
     
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  7. JesseC

    JesseC Active Member

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    I do the same thing with PEEEEEEEOOOOOPLLLLEEEEEE!
     
  8. Jim Kerr

    Jim Kerr Active Member

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    This is turning into a very classy thread.
     
  9. Shad

    Shad Active Member

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    Haven't eaten any of my namesake, but I can tell you that you'll not find a better bait fish. Once or twice a season, I whore a ride with a friend to fish Grays Harbor during the salmon opener. Sometimes, we incidentally catch shad that are barely larger than the herring we troll. Each time, a cut plug rigging of one of those has been converted into a (carefully released) chinook in short order. Same deal at Buoy 10 (although those URBs are released into the fish box).

    "Poor man's tarpon" is an apt name for shad. Their sides are adorned with the biggest, shiniest scales you'll find, and I think that's what makes them so effective. An added bonus (if you're like me and hate re-baiting herring all the time) is the hard bone that runs along their bellies. It keeps them intact through the many bumps along the bottom that occur when you're fishing right.
     
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  10. Alosa

    Alosa Active Member

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    You're a funny guy. Do you have any idea of the magnitude of the shad spawning run on the Columbia? Think MILLIONS, and that's just what gets counted at Bonneville. Preliminary tagging data suggests that only about one half of the spawning run actually ascends Bonneville Dam to continue upriver. The other half find suitable spawning habitat below. Eradication would be a huge waste of money...it rarely ever works.
     
  11. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    The irony, when it comes to invasive species in the Columbia, is that there is a bounty in Oregon for Northern Pike Minnow (aka Squaw Fish) and they are native to the river. They are one of the few species in the Columbia these days that were in the river before the white man started building the dams.

    I'm sure the other non-native species of fish are doing much more harm to the native fish than are the shad.
     
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  12. jwg

    jwg Active Member

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    Do shad fry serve as food for anything we care about in the rivers?

    jay
     
  13. Alosa

    Alosa Active Member

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    That's a GREAT question. We don't know.
     
  14. Slipstream

    Slipstream Active Member

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    Try this on for size. Remove head, tail, entrails and fins. Wrap shad in heavy duty aluminum foil with several pats of butter, sliced lemon and sliced onions. Salt and pepper to taste. Bake at 325 degrees until just barely done. You want the meat to be real moist. Unwrap the fish and use a fork to scrape the skin off the side of the fish. Then scrape away the dark meat along the lateral line and discard. Now the fun begins. Using the fork like a rake, scrape the meat from the rib bones and pile it into a bowl or dish. Keep raking the meat from all areas of the fish until you are finished. In about a half hour you should have a nice bowl of the best tasting fish and a BIG pile of bones. It gets easier the more you do it. It reminded me of cracking crab, a lot of work but well worth the effort. Tom
     
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  15. jwg

    jwg Active Member

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    I did some reading and best I can find is that shad fry are very abundant throughout the lower river, they provide food for predators like bass, walleye, and pike minnow, while depressing the populations of daphnia that feed out migrating salmon smolts.

    Doesn't sound good.

    But proof of the significance of this seems scarce, is my impression.

    Jay
     
  16. cmann886

    cmann886 Active Member

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    Bass seam to like a white crystal bugger---I've read that is in part because crystal buggers look like shad minnows. Sturgeon love to eat full sized shad.
     
  17. cmann886

    cmann886 Active Member

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    We gave a bunch to an oriental lady who was fishing next to us on the Snake River one year---she told us to come back the next day and she would give us some fish cakes. I have no idea how she made them but they were the best fish cakes I've ever had. I could have eaten them for days, and I am not much of a fish eating fan.
     
  18. jwg

    jwg Active Member

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    The shad have been in the river way longer than the dams have been on the river.

    It occurs to me that their impact on salmon in a damned up river, where the smolts spend months getting to sea, may be way greater than the shads impact on salmon when the river was free flowing and smolts made their journey in a matter of a week or two.

    possibly shad and other invasive species, plus dams, could be way worse than dams alone.

    Jay
     
  19. TribalDragon911

    TribalDragon911 Member

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    I've had some fun trolling for shad with a gear friend. He was doing it to use them as bait for oversized sturgeon. While that was fun I want to get one on the fly myself.
     
  20. Luke77

    Luke77 I hope she likes whitefish

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