Regulators find shad, an important fish, are ‘depleted’

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salmon and shad fish

A sockeye salmon, left, swims past a chinook salmon, center front, and shad, above, at the fish counting window at the Bonneville Dam near Cascade Locks, Oregon on June 27, 2012. (AP / Rick Bowmer)

EAST COAST (AP) — Regulators say overfishing, dams, and pollution are among the factors that have steeply reduced the population of an ecologically important fish on the East Coast.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission recently completed an assessment of the population of American shad and found it to be “depleted.”

The commission says ocean conditions and climate change have also likely played a role in reducing the fish’s population from historic levels.

Shad are small, herring-like fish that live from Newfoundland to Florida and play a key role in the food chain of rivers and oceans.

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