ROACH


Do not confuse this fish with its cousin the dace, which has its mouth turned upwards!

Rutilus rutilus – Linné, 1758
Cyprinidae Family
   

Description

The roach's body is lightly flattened along the flanks, but extended nevertheless. It is covered with large light scales, 42-45 along the sides. Its dorsal fin is situated vertically above the pelvic fins, while the tail fin is clear cut, with the side crease very accentuated. The roach's back is greenish-blue, and its flanks silverish-grey. Pelvic and anal fins are yellow-orange and the rest is a brownish-grey colour. The roach's iris is red.
There are numerous hybrids of roach and bream, bleak or dace, whose morphology differs sigificantly.
   

Habitat and behaviour

The roach is definitely one of the most common fish in European waters. They feel comfortable wherever they can find deep enough zones, because they have many predators. We especially find them in lakes and ponds, man-made lakes or the swamps, but also large and small rivers, and dead sleeves…
They are frequent guests of the lower parts of the river, usually inhabited by trout. They live in thick shoals with cousins of various generations. They seem to take well even in waters of medium quality.
   

Way of feeding

Roach can be found in all water levels. On the bottom they search mud, gravel and grasses, for animal prey such as ver de vas, insect larvae, invertebrate animals…, but they can also feed on young plant shoots, refuse, algae, and in the summertime also the submarine moss! They can, under different circumstances, especially in the summer, feed on land insects which fall into the water accidentally or those which just fly out of their cocoon. They won't refuse plancton, especially during their first years of life.
   

Reproduction

From April till June, when the water temperature is above 12 degrees Celsius, it is time for reproduction. Roach spawn in both grassy or gravel areas, in any case shallow areas, not deeper than one meter and frequently close to the shore. All the females from the same group lay eggs at the same time and same place, and each roach lays from 5.000 to 100.000 eggs.
After ten days of fertilization by the males, small spawns come out of the eggs. During exceptionally warm years, roach propagate two to three times a year. A spawn's growth is very slow, and it sometimes takes them up to three years to reach the size of 15 cm, where they can themselves propagate!
   

Foreign names

Plotze, furn (German); pigo, scardola (Italian); bolla (Spanish); gardon (French), bodorka (Croatian).

   

Average life span: 10 to 15 years
Average size: 20 to 40 cm
Average weight: 150 g to 1,5 kg

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