Killarney shad

Killarney shad

Scientific name: Alosa fallax killarnensis (Regan, 1916)
Family: Clupeidae
Order: Clupeiformes
Class: Actinopterygii
Irish name: Sead fhallacsach Chill Airne; gabhairíní;
Native species: Yes;
Irish record angling fish: None
Hybrids: No

Identifying features

This is a dwarf version of a related species, the Twaite shad, it has 43-53 gill rakers on the branchial arch.  Adult fish can range from 18-22 cm13.


Relatives of the Killarney shad, the Twaite shad and Allis shad are anadromous species and are also at risk in Irish waters; both species live in the sea, but spawn in freshwaters2.

Environment and Habitat

Freshwater; confined to Lough Leane, Killarney, Ireland; this is a lake-locked relative of the Twaite shad and Allis shad; spawning occurs in graveled areas within the lake12;

European distribution

Only found in one lake in Ireland, Lough Leane.

Economic value in Ireland

No commercial value; angling fish; significant heritage value

Red list status

Critically endangered; however, a recent National Parks and Wildlife report with contributions from the Central Fisheries Board, assigned a good conservation status for the Killarney shad as the population is thriving and the water quality of the lake is improving 12.

Irish legislation status


EU legislation status

Protected by Annex II and V of the European Habitats Directive