Murray State Theses and Dissertations


Gizzard Shad Dorosoma cepedianum and Threadfin Shad D. petenense are ecologically important fish species found in many reservoirs throughout the southeastern United States, such as Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. One current challenge that Gizzard Shad and Threadfin Shad may face in these two reservoirs is competition with the invasive Silver Carp Hypophthalmichthys molitrix. However, quantifying the effects of this competition may be difficult because of limited baseline population data for Gizzard Shad and Threadfin Shad in these two reservoirs. Gizzard Shad and Threadfin Shad were collected by boat electrofishing and surface trawling in cove and main channel locations during the growing seasons of 2021 and 2022. All shad were enumerated and measured, and sagittal otoliths were used to age shad collected in the fall and spring. Relative abundance, size structure, condition, age structure, growth rates, mortality, and spawning of Gizzard Shad and Threadfin Shad were compared between these two reservoirs. Lake Barkley Gizzard Shad were found to be more abundant, slower growing, generally smaller and younger than Kentucky Lake Gizzard Shad. Threadfin Shad in Lake Barkley were also more abundant and may not grow as large as Threadfin Shad in Kentucky Lake. Results from this study will be used as a baseline for future monitoring of Gizzard Shad populations in Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley which might reveal any effects of invasive carp on Gizzard Shad and Threadfin Shad.

Year manuscript completed


Year degree awarded


Thesis Advisor

Timothy Spier

Committee Member

Michael Flinn

Committee Member

Andrea Darracq

Document Type