Looking downstream on the River Cree
Looking upstream on the River Bladnoch
Felling of commercial forestry in Galloway Forest Park
Looking upstream on the River Luce
North American Signal Crayfish
The sandy beach at Loch Grannoch
Belted Galloway Cattle, or 'Belties'
Fly fishing on the River Cree
A small upland burn
The High Cree, looking towards Cairnsmore of Fleet
A small waterfall on the Buchan Burn
A salmon from the Kirkcudbrightshire Dee
GFT staff have been analysing shad samples provided by Solway netsmen over the last couple of seasons. Shad are silver coloured fish that are closely related to herring, which can reach lengths of 50 cm. They are extremely rare fish and although both species of shad can be found off much of the UK coast, only one spawning population of Allis shad is known in the UK (River Tamar on the south coast of England) and only a handful of spawning populations of Twaite shad are found in England and Wales. No known spawning grounds for either species of shad occur in Scotland but gravid Allis and Twaite shad have always been captured by net fisheries in the Solway, particularly in Wigtown Bay. Both gravid and spent shad are caught suggesting spawning must occur nearby but it is not known exactly where. The GFT River Cree Rare Fish Project surveyed the lower Cree around Creetown but did not locate any shad eggs, although it must be remembered that their eggs are small, hatch quickly and this estuarine habitat is not an easy place to survey. We have never heard of shad being caught by anglers locally even though in some of the English rivers supporting shad they are regularly caught accidently. We are also not aware of anyone locally reporting seeing any spawning behaviour as these fish are famous for their vigorous and noisy spawning which involves splashing on the water surface, although the lower Cree estuary is not particularly easy to access.