The vendace has a relatively short life, usually reaching an age of only five years. It lives in large shoals in lakes and matures sexually in the second or third year of its existence. Its main source of food is plankton. Two subspecies are known, one of which inhabits the watershed of Lake Onega and the other the upper reaches of the Volga. It breeds in November and December and deposits its spawn on the gravelly river bottom at a depth of 2 to 10 meters.
This fish is found in great numbers in the northern lakes around the watershed of the Baltic Sea, whilst in some areas it is also artificially introduced into large reservoirs. It also occurs in a few natural lakes in the Lake District, Scotland and Ireland (where it is known as pollan).
Maximum size and weight: 30 cm, 300 g.
Identifying characteristics: Relatively slender body, lower jaw longer than upper jaw, mouth in superior position. Caudal fin deeply curved.