Kearny Marsh Fish Story

Copy of IMG_2917Ron Shields saw this fish in the Kearny Marsh and wondered what it is.

NJMC Naturalist Brett Bragin supplied the answer:

"That looks like a gizzard shad to me.  I recall catching a few adult gizzard shad in Kearny FW marsh in 1987 or 1988. 

"As usual, it is hard to do a positive ID from just a photograph."

Rest of post follows.

Gizzard shad
Brett continues:  "In order to be certain you need to pull up the dorsal fin to see if the last ray (closest to the body) is extended into a long filament (as in the above photo of a large adult taken from the lower Hackensack River)."

Ron also wondered how the fish got into the [presumably landlocked] Kerant Marsh.

Brett replies: "The gizzard shad are native to NJ and are widespread.  They are found in freshwater, brackish, and marine waters in the Atlantic, Delaware River/Bay and Hudson river drainages, as well as inshore areas of the Atlantic Ocean. 

"I suspect that they somehow found their way into the Kearny Marsh from the Hackensack and/or Passaic River via culverts and leaking tide gates.  Another possibility is that they got there by being carried into the marsh during flooding from large storms that caused the man-made impediments (e.g., RR embankments, Route 7, etc.) to be less of an impediment than they normally are. 

"But then again, you just never know; maybe some fisherman using them as live bait dumped his bait bucket at the end of a less-than-productive day while fishing in the marsh."

Gizzard shad-1

One thought on “Kearny Marsh Fish Story

  1. Fred

    I know there are or was large Carp in the Kearny Marsh, But few years back on the Belleville pike just across from the end of tower road and little fresh water section right across the pik is the end of creek of Kearny Marsh Cars were parked under the tunpik bridege , My friend and I parked to see whats happening . we walked in the trail past fence saw herd about 5 guys , they were fishing and had 5 large 24″ Carp and the Carp in the end pat of creek was shollow water speading thur the grass to open section were is where these guys were fishing. could see the fish breaking water. I asked what are they going to do with the dead fish they had on the ground, They responded use the fish for fertilizer for gardens. I advised them they could buy garden fertilizer with fish propetys in store large bag for like $2.00 why catch these natural fish here in this natural marsh and kill the fish. soon there will be no more. They had no responce , except to say they also cauth a large mouth bass and catfish. I called fish an game about there fishing , I was told they will look into it. I hope they did . and Fish are still in the Kearny Marsh.


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