DURBAN - THE Shad fishing season in South Africa will remain closed until November 30. This seasonal ban is designed to protect the shad during its peak breeding season.
The ban has been in effect since April 2005 and has proven most valuable in maintaining South African shad stocks.
You can help ensure that your children and grandchildren can still catch shad by knowing, sharing and obeying the three regulations currently in effect. The minimum size for shad is a total length of 30cm, the bag limit is four per person per day (in the open season) and the closed season runs from October 1 to November 30 each year.
Adult and sub-adult elf migrate seasonally between the Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. Adults are common in Cape waters during summer and autumn, and in KwaZulu-Natal waters during winter and spring.
The arrival of elf in KwaZulu-Natal coincides with the onset of spawning activity. Northward migrating elf also feed primarily on pilchards, which undertake a similar annual migration northwards from the Agulhas Banks.
Most, but not all elf take part in the annual northward migration as some are caught all year round in the Western Cape.
They mature at 25cm in total length and an age of one year. Spawning takes place in KwaZulu-Natal waters between spring and summer with peak spawning from October to December. Spawning occurs in nearshore shelf waters in depths of 30-75m.
Learn more about shad (also known as elf) here: https://www.saambr.org. za/.../ORI-Fish-Fact-Sheet-Elf-1.pdf