Sunday, August 9, 2009

Common Freshwater Bream

The Common Bream is a prolific fish living in great numbers in the lower reaches of slow-flowing, large rivers, lowland reservoirs and lakes. It has a high, laterally flattened body with lead-blue back and silvery or sometimes, in older fish, golden sides. Its eyes are quite small and its fins are a dark to dirty grey ; the paired fins arc lighter in colour.

It is a typical representative of river-bed fish, fond of undergrowths of water vegetation. It even survives in brackish waters, but such types migrate to spawn in clear river waters. Spawning takes place mainly in the evening and during the night towards the end of April and in May on submerged aquatic plants or other suitable objects, such as the foliage of fallen trees. During this period the common bream congregates in large shoals close to the river banks and the males have conspicuous spawning tubercles covering their body and head. Its mouth can be protruded forward during the search for food along the soft river bed. The common bream when young feeds on planktonic animals, but as it becomes larger feeds on benthic organisms. It usually grows to a length of 30 cm and on rare occasions even reaches 75 cm and a weight of over 6 kg.

It inhabits the whole of Europe to the north of the Pyrenees and the Alps, but does not exist in the western and southern parts of the Balkan peninsula or in the western and northern regions of Scandinavia. Its subspecies Abramis brama orientalis lives in the watershed of the Caspian Sea and another subspecies, Abramis brama danubii, has been found in the mouth of the Danube.

Maximum size and weight: 75 cm, 11 kg.

Identifying characteristics: A deep, laterally flattened body, with silvery or golden sides. Fins dark, dirty grey. Eyes relatively small. Mouth protrusible.

Other types of Bream Fish: Silver Bream

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