The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Dorosoma petenense
Dorosoma petenense
(Threadfin Shad)
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
Dorosoma petenense (Günther, 1867)

Common name: Threadfin Shad

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Etnier and Starnes (1993); Moyle (1976a); Whitehead (1985); Page and Burr (1991).

Size: 23 cm.

Native Range: Native range of the threadfin shad is somewhat debated. Before 1945, the threadfin shad was found only in rivers and streams flowing into the Gulf of Mexico, from Florida to Mexico (Forbes and Richardson, 1920; Smith, 1979). Later, its range expanded northward (Trautman, 1981). In 1948, thread - fin shad were discovered in impoundments of the Tennessee River (Tennessee Valley Authority, 1954), and in 1957 the first Illinois specimens were collected from tributaries of the Ohio River (Minckley and Krumholz, 1960). An alternative opinion is that the threadfin shad was originally found as far south as Belize and was distributed northward into Gulf States as well as states bordering the lower Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, including Illinois and Missouri (Page and Burr, 1991) [quoted from Irons et al. 2009].

Given the fact that they were stocked in the Tennessee River and were able to migrate from there, and the fact that there are no early records, we consider it not-native to areas upstream of the lower Tennessee River (on both the Tennessee and the Mississippi and Ohio rivers). Many of the areas of Arkansas are also questionable. The earliest record for the state is 1955 despite a fair amount of sampling in the state (as depicted by FishNet2.net).

Native range data for this species provided in part by NatureServe NS logo
Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Dorosoma petenense are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
AL1952201537Bear; Cahaba; Coosa-Tallapoosa; Escatawpa; Guntersville Lake; Locust; Lower Alabama; Lower Black Warrior; Lower Chattahoochee; Lower Choctawhatchee; Lower Conecuh; Lower Coosa; Lower Elk; Lower Tallapoosa; Lower Tombigbee; Middle Alabama; Middle Chattahoochee-Lake Harding; Middle Chattahoochee-Walter F; Middle Coosa; Middle Tallapoosa; Middle Tombigbee-Chickasaw; Middle Tombigbee-Lubbub; Mississippi Coastal; Mobile Bay; Mobile-Tensaw; Mulberry; Pea; Perdido; Perdido Bay; Pickwick Lake; Sepulga; Sipsey Fork; Sucarnoochee; Upper Alabama; Upper Black Warrior; Upper Choctawhatchee; Wheeler Lake
AZ1953202018Agua Fria; Bill Williams; Bouse Wash; Brawley Wash; Havasu-Mohave Lakes; Imperial Reservoir; Lake Mead; Lower Colorado; Lower Colorado Region; Lower Lake Powell; Lower Salt; Lower Verde; Middle Gila; Middle Gila; Tonto; Upper Gila-San Carlos Reservoir; Upper Salt; Upper Santa Cruz
AR1950199114Beaver Reservoir; Bull Shoals Lake; Illinois; Little Red; Lower Black; Lower Little Arkansas, Oklahoma; Lower Sulpher; Ouachita Headwaters; Pecan-Waterhole; Poteau; Strawberry; Upper Ouachita; Upper Saline; Upper White-Village
CA1953202136California Region; Fresno River; Havasu-Mohave Lakes; Imperial Reservoir; Los Angeles; Lower American; Lower Colorado; Lower Colorado; Lower Sacramento; Lower Sacramento; Mad-Redwood; Middle San Joaquin-Lower Chowchilla; Monterey Bay; Newport Bay; Pajaro; Sacramento-Stone Corral; Salton Sea; San Diego; San Francisco Bay; San Gabriel; San Jacinto; San Joaquin; San Joaquin Delta; San Pablo Bay; Santa Ana; Santa Clara; Santa Margarita; Santa Maria; Suisun Bay; Tomales-Drake Bays; Tulare Lake Bed; Tulare-Buena Vista Lakes; Upper Cache; Upper Calaveras California; Upper Dry; Upper Yuba
CO198520114Middle South Platte-Cherry Creek; San Luis; South Platte; St. Vrain
DE197719812Broadkill-Smyrna; Upper Chesapeake
FL1931202343Alafia; Apalachee Bay-St. Marks; Apalachicola; Apalachicola Bay; Aucilla; Big Cypress Swamp; Blackwater; Caloosahatchee; Cape Canaveral; Charlotte Harbor; Chipola; Choctawhatchee Bay; Crystal-Pithlachascotee; Daytona-St. Augustine; Escambia; Everglades; Florida Southeast Coast; Hillsborough; Kissimmee; Lake Okeechobee; Little Manatee; Lower Chattahoochee; Lower Choctawhatchee; Lower Ochlockonee; Lower St. Johns; Manatee; Myakka; Nassau; New; Northern Okeechobee Inflow; Oklawaha; Peace; Pensacola Bay; Sarasota Bay; Southern Florida; St. Andrew-St. Joseph Bays; St. Johns; Tampa Bay; Tampa Bay; Upper St. Johns; Vero Beach; Withlacoochee; Yellow
GA1953201120Altamaha; Apalachicola Basin; Broad; Coosawattee; Cumberland-St. Simons; Etowah; Little; Lower Chattahoochee; Lower Flint; Lower Savannah; Middle Chattahoochee-Lake Harding; Middle Chattahoochee-Walter F; Ogeechee Coastal; Ohoopee; Satilla; Savannah; Tugaloo; Upper Ocmulgee; Upper Oconee; Withlacoochee
HI190520059Hawaii; Hawaii; Hawaii Region; Kahoolawe; Kauai; Lanai; Maui; Molokai; Oahu
IL1963201827Big Muddy; Cache; Cahokia-Joachim; Chicago; Des Plaines; Embarras; Highland-Pigeon; Iroquois; Kankakee; La Moine; Lower Illinois; Lower Illinois-Lake Chautauqua; Lower Illinois-Senachwine Lake; Lower Kaskaskia; Lower Ohio; Lower Ohio-Bay; Lower Sangamon; Lower Wabash; Middle Kaskaskia; Middle Wabash-Busseron; Peruque-Piasa; Saline; South Fork Sangamon; The Sny; Upper Illinois; Upper Mississippi-Cape Girardeau; Vermilion
IN198520078Blue-Sinking; Highland-Pigeon; Kankakee; Lower East Fork White; Lower Ohio-Little Pigeon; Ohio Region; Silver-Little Kentucky; Tippecanoe
KS195520213Independence-Sugar; Lower Marais Des Cygnes; Upper Neosho
KY1961201819Barren; Highland-Pigeon; Kentucky; Licking; Licking; Little Sandy; Little Scioto-Tygarts; Lower Cumberland; Lower Green; Lower Kentucky; Lower Levisa; Lower Ohio; Middle Green; Middle Ohio-Laughery; Ohio Brush-Whiteoak; Red; Silver-Little Kentucky; Upper Cumberland; Upper Green
LA195919742Bayou D'Arbonne; Northern Gulf of Mexico
ME197619921New England Region
MD196920126Choptank; Gunpowder-Patapsco; Middle Potomac-Anacostia-Occoquan; Middle Potomac-Catoctin; Nanticoke; Upper Chesapeake
MS1897201515Black; Bogue Chitto; Escatawpa; Lower Chickasawhay; Lower Leaf; Lower Pearl; Middle Pearl-Silver; Middle Pearl-Strong; Middle Tombigbee-Lubbub; Mississippi Coastal; Pascagoula; Pickwick Lake; Sucarnoochee; Town; Upper Tombigbee
MO1963199314Bear-Wyaconda; Beaver Reservoir; Bull Shoals Lake; Cahokia-Joachim; Lower Missouri-Moreau; Lower Osage; Peruque-Piasa; Salt; South Grand; Spring; The Sny; Town of Madrid-Saint Johns Bayou; Upper Mississippi-Cape Girardeau; Upper White
NE198719871Missouri Region
NV195320205Havasu-Mohave Lakes; Imperial Reservoir; Lake Mead; Las Vegas Wash; Muddy
NM199019904Rio Grande-Albuquerque; Upper Canadian; Upper Pecos; Upper San Juan
NC1964202127Albemarle; Cape Fear; Chowan; Deep; French Broad-Holston; Haw; Lower Cape Fear; Lower Pee Dee; Lower Roanoke; Lower Yadkin; Middle Neuse; Middle Roanoke; Neuse; Northeast Cape Fear; Roanoke; Roanoke Rapids; Rocky; Upper Broad; Upper Cape Fear; Upper Catawba; Upper Little Tennessee; Upper Neuse; Upper Pee Dee; Upper Pee Dee; Upper Tennessee; Upper Yadkin; White Oak River
OH198620235Lower Great Miami, Indiana, Ohio; Lower Scioto; Ohio Brush-Whiteoak; Raccoon-Symmes; Sandusky
OK1941201537Arkansas-White-Red Region; Bird; Black Bear-Red Rock; Blue; Bois D'arc-Island; Cache; Chikaskia; Clear Boggy; Deep Fork; Dirty-Greenleaf; Elk; Farmers-Mud; Illinois; Kaw Lake; Kiamichi; Lake O' The Cherokees; Lake Texoma; Little; Lower Canadian; Lower Canadian-Walnut; Lower Cimarron; Lower Cimarron-Skeleton; Lower Neosho; Lower North Canadian; Lower North Fork Red; Lower Salt Fork Arkansas; Lower Verdigris; Lower Washita; Middle North Canadian; Middle Verdigris; Middle Washita; Pecan-Waterhole; Polecat-Snake; Poteau; Robert S. Kerr Reservoir; Spring; Upper Little
PR196320145Cibuco-Guajataca; Culebrinas-Guanajibo; Eastern Puerto Rico; Puerto Rico; Southern Puerto Rico
SC1967202421Carolina Coastal-Sampit; Carolinian; Congaree; Cooper; Enoree; Four Hole Swamp; Lake Marion; Lower Broad; Lower Catawba; Lower Pee Dee; Middle Savannah; Saluda; Santee; Santee; Seneca; South Carolina Coastal; Upper Broad; Upper Catawba; Upper Savannah; Waccamaw; Wateree
TN1948200121Buffalo; Caney; Collins; Harpeth; Hiwassee; Holston; Lower Clinch; Lower Cumberland; Lower Cumberland-Old Hickory Lake; Lower Elk; Lower French Broad; Lower Little Tennessee; Middle Tennessee-Chickamauga; Obey; Powell; South Fork Holston; Stones; Upper Clinch, Tennessee, Virginia; Upper Elk; Watauga, North Carolina, Tennessee; Watts Bar Lake
TX1945202045Amistad Reservoir; Austin-Travis Lakes; Big Bend; Bois D'arc-Island; Brady; Buchanan-Lyndon B. Johnson Lakes; Caddo Lake; Cedar; Colorado Headwaters; Concho; Denton; East Fork Trinity; East Galveston Bay; East Matagorda Bay; Elm Fork Trinity; Farmers-Mud; Hubbard; Jim Ned; Lake O'the Pines; Lake Texoma; Leon; Lower Clear Fork Brazos; Lower Devils; Lower Sulpher; Lower West Fork Trinity; Middle Brazos-Lake Whitney; Middle Brazos-Millers; Middle Brazos-Palo Pinto; Middle Colorado; Middle Colorado-Elm; Middle Concho; North Concho; North Fork Double Mountain Fork Brazos; Northern Gulf of Mexico; Pecan Bayou; Pecan-Waterhole; South Concho; Sulphur Headwaters; Upper Clear Fork Brazos; Upper Colorado; Upper Guadalupe; Upper Sabine; Upper Trinity; Upper West Fork Trinity; Wichita
UT198219994Lower Lake Powell; Lower San Juan; Upper Colorado-Kane Springs; Upper Lake Powell
VA1952201221Albemarle; Appomattox; Hampton Roads; James; Kanawha; Lower Chesapeake Bay; Lower Dan; Lower James; Lower Potomac; Middle Potomac-Anacostia-Occoquan; Middle Roanoke; Potomac; Powell; Roanoke; Roanoke Rapids; South Fork Holston; Upper Clinch, Tennessee, Virginia; Upper Dan; Upper New; Upper Roanoke; York
WV1976202312Elk; Gauley; Greenbrier; Little Muskingum-Middle Island; Lower Kanawha; Middle New; North Branch Potomac; Potomac; Twelvepole; Tygart Valley; Upper Kanawha; West Fork

Table last updated 5/20/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

* HUCs are not listed for states where the observation(s) cannot be approximated to a HUC (e.g. state centroids or Canadian provinces).

Ecology: Prefers lakes, ponds, rivers, reservoirs and estuaries, but does not endure cold water (7-14°C).  Spawning occurs often before one year of age over vegetation or logs in open water at 21°C.

Means of Introduction: It is unknown whether the populations on the east coast of Georgia resulted from past stocking or from dispersal through estuarine waters (Miller and Jorgenson 1969; Dahlberg and Scott 1971b). Populations in other locations were intentionally stocked as forage.

Status: Canadian River population possibly extirpated (Sublette et al. 1990). Populations in several West Virginia lakes extirpated by cold weather (Stauffer et al. 1995). Probably not established in the Platte drainage of Colorado (Walker 1993). Introduced and abundant in reservoirs of the Colorado River (Deacon and Williams 1984). Starnes et al. (2011) report that it is likely extirpated from the Potomac River system. Established in other areas.

Impact of Introduction: Concern exists regarding possible impacts on other fish species with planktonic larvae, such as minnows and suckers, and on young centrarchids. Dill and Cordone (1997) stated that threadfin compete with young centrarchids for food and that they have destroyed kokanee fishing in some areas. Population increases and crashes of threadfin shad caused diet shifts from zooplankton to zoobenthos, as well as an increase in tissue mercury content due to benthic foraging, in several species of zooplanktivorous fishes (inland silverside; young-of-year largemouth bass and bluegill) in Clear Lake, California (Eagles-Smith et al. 2008).

Remarks: Stock introduced into the Colorado River was from the Tennessee River (Minckley 1973). Dill and Cordone (1997) gave the history of the introduction of this species into California. Although Lee et al. (1980 et seq.) listed the species as native to Florida, Gilbert (personal communication) believes there is a considerable amount of circumstantial evidence to indicate that this species is not native east of the Mississippi River, but was introduced as a forage fish beginning in the early 1900s. Gilbert cites the fact that there are no published records of the species east of the Mississippi River prior to the 1940s. Expansion of the range of this species during the past half century likely resulted from a combination of natural range extension and human introduction (Gilbert, personal communication).

References: (click for full references)

Boschung, H. T. 1992. Catalogue of freshwater and marine fishes of Alabama. Alabama Museum of Natural History Bulletin 14:1-266.

Bouc, K. 1987. The fish book. Nebraskaland Magazine 65(1):1-130.

Bradley, W. G. and J. E. Deacon. 1967. The biotic communities of southern Nevada. Nevada State Museum Anthropological Papers No. 13, Part 4. 201-273.

Burkhead, N.M., S.J. Walsh, B.J. Freeman, and J.D. Williams. 1997. Status and restoration of the Etowah River, an imperiled southern Appalachian ecosystem. Pages 375-444 in Benz, G.W., and D.E. Collins, eds. Aquatic fauna in peril: the southeastern perspective. Southeast Aquatic Research Institute, Lenz Design & Communications. Decatur, GA.

Burr, B.M., and M.L. Warren, Jr. 1986. A distributional atlas of Kentucky fishes. Scientific and Technical Series No. 4. Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission, Frankfort, KY.

Clay, W.M. 1975. The fishes of Kentucky. Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Frankfort, KY.

Cooper, E.L. 1983. Fishes of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park, PA.

Cross, F.B. 1967. Handbook of fishes of Kansas. State Biological Survey and University of Kansas Museum of Natural History, Miscellaneous Publication 45, Topeka, KS.

Dahlberg, M.D., and D.C. Scott. 1971a. The freshwater fishes of Georgia. Bulletin of the Georgia Academy of Science 29:1-64.

Dahlberg, M.D., and D.C. Scott. 1971b. Introductions of freshwater fishes in Georgia. Bulletin of the Georgia Academy of Science 29:245-252.

Eagles-Smith, C.A., T.H. Suchanek, A.E. Colwell, N.L. Anderson, and P.B. Moyle. 2008. Changes in fish diets and food web mercury bioaccumulation induced by an invasive planktivorous fish. Ecological Applications 18(8 Supplement):A213-A226. http://www.jstor.org/stable/27645937

Erdsman, D.S. 1984. Exotic fishes in Puerto Rico. Pages 162-176 in Courtenay, W.R., Jr., and J.R. Stauffer, Jr, eds. Distribution, biology, and management of exotic fishes. John Hopkins University Press. Baltimore, MD.

Haskell, W.L. 1959. Diet of the Mississippi threadfin shad, Dorosoma petenense atchafalayae, in Arizona. Copeia 1959(4):298-302.

Jenkins, R.E., and N.M. Burkhead. 1994. Freshwater fishes of Virginia. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD.

La Rivers, I. 1962. Fishes and fisheries of Nevada. Nevada State Print Office, Carson City, NV.

Lee, D. S., C. R. Gilbert, C. H. Hocutt, R. E. Jenkins, D. E. McAllister, and J. R. Stauffer, Jr. 1980 et seq. Atlas of North American freshwater fishes. North Carolina State Museum of Natural History, Raleigh, NC.

Maciolek, J.A. 1984. Exotic fishes in Hawaii and other islands of Oceania. Pages 131-161 in W.R. Courtenay, Jr., and J.R. Stauffer, Jr., editors. Distribution, biology, and management of exotic fishes. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD.

Matern, S.A., P.B. Moyle, and L.C. Pierce. 2002. Native and alien fishes in a California estuarine marsh: twenty-one years of changing assemblages. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 131:797-816.

Menhinick, E.F. 1991. The freshwater fishes of North Carolina. North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, Raleigh, NC.

Miller, R.R., and C.H. Lowe. 1967. Part 2. Fishes of Arizona. Pages 133-151 in Lowe, C.H, ed. The vertebrates of Arizona. University of Arizona Press. Tuscon, AZ.

Miller, G.L., and S.C. Jorgenson. 1969. Seasonal occurence and length of frequency distribution of some marine fishes of coastal Georgia. Data Report No. 35. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, DC.

Miller, R.J., and H.W. Robison. 1973. The fishes of Oklahoma. Oklahoma State University Press, Stillwater, OK.

Minckley, W.L. 1973. Fishes of Arizona. Arizona Fish and Game Department. Sims Printing Company, Inc., Phoenix, AZ.

Minckley, W.L., and L.A. Krumholz. 1960. Natural hybridization between the clupeid genera Dorosoma and Signalosa, with a report on the distribution of S. petenensis. Zoologica 44(4):171-180.

Moyle, P.B. 1976a. Inland fishes of California. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.

Moyle, P.B. 1976b. Fish introduction in California: history and impact on native fishes. Biological Conservation 9:101-118.

Moyle, P.B. and J. Randall. 1999. Distribution maps of fishes in California. http://ice.ucdavis.edu/aquadiv/fishcovs/fishmaps.html.

Page, L.M., and B.M. Burr. 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. The Peterson Field Guide Series, volume 42. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA.

Pflieger, W.L. 1975. The fishes of Missouri. Missouri Department of Conservation, Jefferson City, MO.

Raasch, M.S., and V. L. Altemus, Sr. 1991. Delaware's freshwater and brackish water fishes - a popular account. Delaware State College for the Study of Del-Mar-Va Habitats and the Society of Natural History of Delaware. 166 pp.

Rasmussen, J.L. 1998. Aquatic nuisance species of the Mississippi River basin. 60th Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference, Aquatic Nuisance Species Symposium, Dec. 7, 1998, Cincinnati, OH.

Red River Authority of Texas. 2001. Red and Canadian Basins Fish Inventory: Grayson County. Red River Authority of Texas.

Red River Authority of Texas. 2001. Red and Canadian Basins Fish Inventory: Red River County. Red River Authority of Texas.

Schmidt, B. - Chief Fisheries Mangement, Division of Wildlife Resources, Salt Lake City, UT. Response to NBS-G non-indigenous questionaire. 1992.

Smith, P.W. 1979. The fishes of Illinois. University of Illinois Press, Urbana, IL.

Sommer, T., B. Harrell, M. Nobriga, R. Brown, P. Moyle, W. Kimmerer, and L. Schemel. 2001. California's Yolo Bypass: evidence that flood control can be compatible with fisheries, wetlands, wildlife, and agriculture. Fisheries 26(8):6-16.

Southwick, R. - District Fisheries Supervisor, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Richmond, VA. Response to NBS-G non-indigenous questionaire. 1992.

Starnes, W.C., J. Odenkirk, and M.J. Ashton. 2011. Update and analysis of fish occurrences in the lower Potomac River drainage in the vicinity of Plummers Island, Maryland—Contribution XXXI to the natural history of Plummers Island, Maryland. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 124(4):280-309.

Stauffer, J.R., Jr., J.M. Boltz, and L.R. White. 1995. The fishes of West Virginia. Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA.

Sublette, J.E., M. D. Hatch, and M. Sublette. 1990. The fishes of New Mexico. New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, NM.

Tilmant, J.T. 1999. Management of nonindigenous aquatic fish in the U.S. National Park System. National Park Service. 50 pp.

Walker, P. - Colorado Division of Wildlife, Brush, CO.

Woodling, J. 1985. Colorado's little fish: a guide to the minnows and other lesser known fishes in the state of Colorado. Colorado Division of Wildlife, Denver, CO.

Zuckerman, L.D., and R.J. Behnke. 1986. Introduced fishes in the San Luis Valley, Colorado. Pages 435-452 in R.H. Stroud, ed. Fish culture in fisheries management. Proceedings of a symposium on the role of fish culture in fisheries management at Lake Ozark, MO, March 31-April 3, 1985. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD.

Other Resources:
Distribution in Illinois - ILNHS

FishBase Summary

Author: Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson

Revision Date: 5/24/2019

Peer Review Date: 7/16/2015

Citation Information:
Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson, 2024, Dorosoma petenense (Günther, 1867): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=493, Revision Date: 5/24/2019, Peer Review Date: 7/16/2015, Access Date: 5/21/2024

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.


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Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [5/21/2024].

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