Twaite Shad (an Annex II feature of the Severn Estuary river catchment) are potentially persisting in ‘unfavourable condition,’ due to migratory barriers. This project collaborated with the other competent authories to implement a new monitoring program to facilitate targeted management. The program provided data on the presence of shad, indications of population size, structure and habitat information through juvenile netting surveys, fish counter monitoring and egg surveys. Phase I is a habitat survey of potential spawning and Juvenile habitat on the Rivers Severn and Teme.
The program is linked in to a wider network of projects that aim to address barriers to migration and the outputs will lend support to other initiatives. The Environment Agency plan to submit an EU LIFE bid for funding for barrier removal, potentially in partnership with NE. It is felt that without data to inform a ‘before’ and ‘after’ comparison of available habitat, the prospects of this LIFE bid are compromised. This project is critical to monitoring condition of the Shad and also to informing and monitoring success of the barrier removal.
We also included Sea Lamprey and River Lamprey, which are the other SAC migratory fish species that use the area.