Note: Information is dated. Do not rely on it.Shad. A name of several fishes, of the. family Clupeidae or herrings, and including two American species, the common or American shad, and the Alabama shad. The common shad inhabits the sea near the mouths of large rivers, and in the spring ascends them for the purpose of depositing its spawn. The form of the shad is the same as that of the other herrings, but it is of larger size, and in some places receives the name of "herring king." Its color is a dark blue above, with brown and greenish lusters, the sides being silvery white. Mature specimens have a length of twenty-four to thirty inches, and a weight of three to four pounds. The Alabama shad is smaller than the common species, and weighs on an average about two pounds. Both American species of shad are highly esteemed for food, and are consumed in great quantities in the fresh state. They are found all along the coast from New England to the gulf of Mexico, and have been successfully introduced on the Pacific coast. By some authorities the common and Alabama shad are regarded as a single species.