Growth and movements of the twaite shad, Alosa fallax (Lacépède), in the Severn Estuary



Between July 1974 and April 1977, appreciable numbers of 0 group twaite shad, Alosa fallax, have been collected from the cooling water intake screens of the Nuclear Power Stations at Oldbury-upon-Severn and Berkeley on the Severn Estuary and at Hinkley Point on the Bristol Channel, England. Young of the year first appeared at Oldbury in July at a size of approximately 32 mm standard length, and grew to approximately 61 mm by October. The downstream migration in the late summer and autumn appeared to be closely correlated with water temperature since movement reached a peak soon after the temperature in the Estuary had declined below 19° C, and ceased altogether below 9° C. Thereafter, there was virtually no movement of shad until temperatures rose sharply above 7° C in the spring. Maturing adult twaite shad were captured in late April and May as they moved into freshwater to spawn, probably in mid-June. Males were recorded slightly earlier during the migration and were generally younger than females. Furthermore, mean lengths and weights for individuals belonging to the different age classes indicated that males were also smaller. Logarithmic relationships between length and weight of young and adult A. fallax and for the variation with size in the number of rakers on the first gill arch are presented.