As a first port of call for improving shad populations, Pete points to removing river barriers to enable effective fish passage so adults can migrate from the sea into rivers to spawn and juvenile fish can make their way back downstream and out into estuaries and the sea to grow.
A barrier to shad migration on the River Teme
He also goes on to suggest shad screening, maintaining and improving freshwater habitats, and improving water quality as other means of increasing species numbers. However, all have challenges and none is a sure way to repopulate UK waters with the sensitive shad. “Nevertheless, sufficient knowledge exists for allis and twaite shad, or other shad species, to inform efforts within the UK,” Pete says.
“A significant milestone in securing the future of UK shad, is the recent news of the Severn Rivers Trust’s successful £20m project ‘Unlocking the Severn’, which is aimed at improving shad populations. I’m hopeful that in the not too distant future, we might all be reading about the remarkable recovery of twaite shad and the return of spawning allis shad in the Severn catchment and other catchments around the UK,” he concludes.