Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Happy little shad fish

To celebrate this day (April 15 - the first day of fishing season), I thought I'd post about shad.

The appearance of shad in fresh food markets of the Bay of Fundy is a sure sign of spring. In fact, a traditional spring meal here could very well be shad and fiddleheads (young fern shoots). Although shad are bony and considered difficult to eat, if you've got the patience to properly prepare them the result (a really tasty fish) is worth it. In fact, its scientific name sapidissima means "most delicious". Shad are actually a member of the herring family.

Here around the Bay of Fundy the annual "shad run" is a dramatic event. Within the space of a few weeks shad by the thousands come up the Bay from the Atlantic ocean to spawn. Shad can arrive anytime now up 'til June, depending on weather & water temperatures (they prefer 8 to 12 C). In addition to being fished by hand they are also a favourite catch in our traditional fish weirs.

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