RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) — A rite of spring is underway on Chesapeake Bay tributaries throughout Virginia. It is the annual shad run.

Evidence of that could be found Friday (03/24) at Ancarrow’s Landing in Richmond where hundreds of anglers lined the banks to catch hickory shad.

Hickory shad are anadromous fish. They spend most of their lives in saltwater but return to streams like the James to spawn.

While there are good numbers of hickory shad, there are concerns about other anadromous fish like the American shad, blueback herring, and alewife. None of those three fish can be kept and must be returned to the water immediately.

Anglers can catch hickory shad on shad darts, spoons, and small jigs.

Shad is known as the “Fish That Fed America” because Native Americans and American colonists depended on them as a food source.