American Shad Dave Jacobs April 20, 2014 Fish Species The American shad, Alosa sapidissima, is a species of anadromous fish distributed from southern Labrador to northern Florida. American shad are in family Clupeidae of order Clupeiformes. They are not closely related to the other North American shads. Rather, it seems to form a lineage that diverged from a common ancestor of the European taxa before these diversified. Adult shad weigh between 3 pounds (1.4 kg) and 8 pounds (3.6 kg) and they have a delicate flavor when cooked. It is considered flavorful enough to not require sauces, herbs or spices. It can be boiled, filleted and fried in butter, or baked. Traditionally, a little vinegar is sprinkled over it on the plate. In the eastern United States, roe shad (females) are prized because the eggs are considered a delicacy.