Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



In Virginia, American shad are found in the Chesapeake Bay and its major tributaries, including the Potomac, Rappahannock, York, and James rivers, as well as smaller tributaries and other coastal habitats (e.g., along the Delmarva peninsula) (Fig. 1). Additionally, American shad are found in certain rivers in Virginia that drain to North Carolina (Desfosse et al., 1994). Here we focus on the major western tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay as these areas have come to define the primary stocks in Virginia waters (the James, York, and Rappahannock stocks). Although certain spawning/rearing reaches are known for American shad for individual rivers (Bilcovic et al. 2002), the a mount of habitat used by American shad for these life history stages at a river-wide scale is unknown for Virginia tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay. Several tidal portions of the three major Virginia tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay have been designated as high priority areas for living resources, and migratory fishes in particular

Publication Statement

Submitted to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission as a requirement of Amendment 3 to the Interstate Management Plan for Shad and River Herring