Anglers are being asked to help prevent extinction of an increasingly rare fish.
Shad are listed in national and international law as protected species and the Environment Agency’s north east region wants to ensure that the few that are left in the north east stay there.
There are two types of shad – Allis shad and Twaite shad.
Allis look similar to herring but have deeper bodies, bluish coloured scales and long gill rakers (the ridge around the gills).
Twaite shad have several dark spots along their sides and short gill rakers.
The species is often caught when fishing for salmon and other fish and has been mistaken for large herring.
The Agency advises anyone who catches a shad to immediately return it to the sea or river with the minimum of handling.
The Agency would also be interested to hear from anyone who has accidentally caught the fish to help them with research on the species in the
They should contact Marine Scientist Sarah Peaty at the Environment Agency on 0191 203 4000 or at Tyneside House,
Skinnerburn Road, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, NE4 7AR.
They would need to state the species of shad (Allis or Twaite), its estimated weight and length, where and when it was caught, details of the angler and any other relevant details.
If the fish is dead its carcass would