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Galloway Fisheries Trust

Fisheries House, Station Industrial Estate, Newton Stewart, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland. DG8 6ND
Telephone: 01671 403011 · Fax: 01671 402248 · Scottish Registered Charity No. SC020751

Looking downstream on the River Cree

Brown Trout

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

Murray's Monument

A small upland burn

A stoneloach

The High Cree, looking towards Cairnsmore of Fleet

A small waterfall on the Buchan Burn

A salmon from the Kirkcudbrightshire Dee

Solway shad work

21 April 2014

A Twaite shad

A Twaite shad

Removing the gill rakers to allow identification of species

Removing the gill rakers to allow identification of species

Carefully removing the gill rakers from a shad

Carefully removing the gill rakers from a shad

Removing the stomach contents and collecting the gonads for future analysis

Removing the stomach contents and collecting the gonads for future analysis

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.


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