Twaite shad

Did you know?

Almost two thirds of households near our waterways are disadvantaged. Support our community projects along canals and rivers.

Due to the rarity of this species, the shad (Alosa fallax) is subject to substantial legal protection.

Twaite Shad

Status:

  • listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red list of Threatened Rare and endangered in the UK.
  • UKBAP Priority Species Species
  • Twaite shad is listed on Appendix II of the Bern Convention and Annex IVa of the EC Habitats Directive. It is also protected under schedule 2 of the Conservation (Natural Habitats etc) Regulations 1994 and schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
  • Due to the rarity of this species the shad is subject to substantial legal protection. It is illegal to kill, injure or take a shad from the sea under Section 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981)

British record: 2lb 12oz (British record committee 2015)

Lifespan: four to seven years

Appearance: Twaite shad are very similar to Allis shad. They are members of the herring family and enter freshwater only to spawn. They have a silvery flattened typical fish-shaped body. The Twaite shad has a more darkened back than the Allis shad. A thin fatty membrane covering the front and rear parts of the eye and the lower jaw fits into a notch in the upper jaw. They have a deeply forked tail with large scales at the base. Twaite Shad have a number of dark spots behind the gill cover, sometimes up to 10 spots. They have an anal fin ray count of 19-23.

Read the forgotten story of the shad

Find out how we're helping to unlock the River Severn

Last date edited: 18 February 2020