Sunday, August 9, 2009

Silver Bream Fish

The Silver Bream has a very deep body, which is flattened at the sides; the mouth is in a semi- inferior position and the eyes are relatively large. Its back is scaleless towards the front of its body, as is also its keel behind the pelvic fins. Older specimens have dark, grey-green back, silvery sides and a white belly. The fin edges are grey and the bases of the pectoral and pelvic fins are red or orange. Occasionally the silver bream reaches a length of 35 cm. It is a generally prolific inhabitant of the river bed in the lower reaches of large rivers, in old river backwaters and pools, in creeks and even in some lowland ponds. It spawns from the end of April to June on aquatic plants.

Its food consists of planktonic organisms, algae and the larvae of water insects. It is found in Europe to the north of the Alps and the Pyrenees as far as southern Scandinavia. It also inhabits the eastern parts of England and the northern Danubian tributaries of the Black Sea. It crossbreeds in some localities with other fish such as the bream and the roach, but these hybrids are sterile. Economically it is relatively unimportant and is only caught in large quantities in a few rivers and ponds. In terms of fishery management it represents an undesirable fish species, as it sometimes multiplies excessively, although it grows relatively slowly.

Maximum size and weight: 35 cm, 1 kg.

Identifying characteristics: A high, laterally flattened body; eyes relatively large. Sides strikingly silvery and bases of paired fins reddish.

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