The Shad Foundation

An international non-profit organization for the study, protection, and celebration of shad around the world.

Research Corner



Tenualosa ilisha


How it started.

In the summer of 1995, my colleague and I peered into a fish ladder through an algae-stained window, hoping to witness a great biologic event: the return of the Columbia River's Pacific salmon. The fish ladders at Bonneville Dam were in fact filled with silver migrants, but oddly, few salmon could be counted among them. Another fish -- once foreign to the Columbia -- accounted for the great silvery flood: the American shad.† American shad made their way to the Columbia after 1871 when Seth Green planted some fry in the Sacramento River, California. By 1938, when counts at Bonneville Dam fishways were first tallied, only 5,000 American shad adults were counted.† Over the next half century, in some years, the adult American shad count at Bonneville exceeded 3 million.


Oh, stubborn Nature! While folks on the Atlantic Coast of the U.S. struggle to save their shad runs, American shad remain depleted. But American shad on the Pacific Coast thrive. Spurred on by our curiosity and discovery that there were 30+ recognized shad species world-wide, my colleague, Curt Ebbesmeyer, and I launched the Shad Foundation. It is a world-wide organization for those interested in shad species.


In the beginning, we began publishing the Shad Journal, which included articles on many of the shad species worldwide.† A list of articles, authors and issues is available on The Shad Foundationís Wikipedia page. Now the Journal, freely available in electronic form, has been largely replaced by an e-mail discussion group.† We encourage you, whatever your interest, to contribute to the shad discussions by joining our shad e-mail group.†


September 2016 will mark the 20th anniversary of the Shad Foundation!† To celebrate our anniversary, a special issue of the Shad Journal is in the works.


-Rich Hinrichsen




The Shad Journal


Vol. 1, No. 1; 1996 (HTML)

Vol. 1, No. 1; 1996 (PDF)

Vol. 2, No. 1; 1997 (PDF)

Vol. 2, No. 2; 1997 (PDF)

Vol. 2, No. 3; 1997 (PDF)

Vol. 2, No. 4; 1997 (PDF)

Vol. 3, No. 1; 1998 (PDF)

Vol. 3, No. 2; 1998 (PDF)

Vol. 3, No. 3; 1998 (PDF)

Vol. 3, No. 4; 1998 (PDF)

Vol. 4, No. 1; 1999 (PDF)

Vol. 4, No. 2; 1999 (HTML)


Shad discussion group


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Shad 2001 Conference (20-23 May)