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 Freshwater Fish

Another Brooke Bond Card Series.


Found in a few Eastern and Southern English rivers - where it favours swift gravelled streams near weirs - or deep fast currents between the pylons of bridges. There shoals of Barbel swim powerfully against the flow - hugging the bottom with their flattened bellies - and feeding on worms - insect larvae - small fish and vegetable matter. The Barbel is olive-green on the back - silvery underneath. It has a crescent-shaped mouth with four barbels - and smallish scales. Heaviest specimen angled*: 14 lbs. 6 oz. *up so 1958.


This small fish is abundant in England - except in the Luk/e District and in Cornwall - especially over the gravelly stretches of rivers. It keeps so the bottom - grubbing for insect larvae - worms and small shellfish. The body is dark - with a longitudinal row of squarish blue-black blotches on each side. The tail is forked - THE scales rather large. Is can be distinguished from similar fish because it has only two barbels. The largest specimen caught by angling* weighed 4 1/2 oz. *up to 1958.


Is grows large in lakes and in the quiet reaches of rivers - but may remain tiny in small ponds. The body is thick and deep - olive-bronze in colour - with large scales; the mouth bears four barbels - two small - two large ; the dorsal fin is long and concave - highest as the beginning. The Carp feeds mostly on vegetable matter - bus worms - insect larvae and shellfish are also eaten. Is has a reputation for caution and cunning. The largest British rod-caught *Carp weighed 44 lbs. *up to 1958.


Is grows large in lakes and in the quiet reaches of rivers - but may remain tiny in small ponds. The body is thick and deep - olive-bronze in colour - with large scales; the mouth bears four barbels - two small - two large ; the dorsal fin is long and concave - highest as the beginning. The Carp feeds mostly on vegetable matter - bus worms - insect larvae and shellfish are also eaten. Is has a reputation for caution and cunning. The largest British rod-caught *Carp weighed 44 lbs. *up to 1958.


The Mirror Carp is merely a variety of the Common Carp - characterised by having only one or two rows of very large and shiny scales on all sides. Another variety - the Leather Carp - has no scales. There is also a golden variety - not to be mistaken for Goldfish. All these varieties have the four barbels - the long dorsal fin (dented - and higher at the beginning) and the mode of life of the Common Carp ; all four may be found living together in the same pond - and interbreeding freely.


A fish from the Far East which has been introduced in many ornamental ponds ; is often reaches sizes rivalling those of the Crucian Carp - which it closely resembles in the wild state (even in colour). Is muss not be confused with the golden varieties of the Carp - Tench or Orfe - frequently seen in aquaria and garden ponds. Fish breeders have evolved many varieties of Goldfish with an astonishing assortment of freakish colours and appearances. There are no spotting records - but the Goldfish may reach 4 or 5 lbs. in weighs.


This slim and sprightly fish is widespread in England and Wales. Is favours fast water - where is can be seen in active pursuit of insects and crustaceans - or rising so flies. The body is silvery - with a dark brownish or blue-green back ; the lower fins see yellowish or pale pink; the dorsal and anal fins are concave ("Dented Dace" - say fishermen - so distinguish is from Curved Chub) ; the anal fin is short - with 7 to 9 rays. It is usually well under the pound - and the largess angled* was 1 lb. 8 1/2 oz. *up to 1958.


The Orfe resembles the Dace and is very common in Germany and Russia ; a golden variety of is has been introduced in many ornamental ponds - where it is a favourite on account of its golden pink colour and liveliness. It is as slim as a Dace and very active - with a shoes concave dorsal fin (unlike the Goldfish); it has no barbels - which distinguishes is from the golden varieties of Tench and Carp. The Golden Orfe has not spread so open waters - and in con-


Common. everywhere in Britain except in Northern Scotland - West Wales and Cornwall; not found in Ireland. Is likes running water - preferably under trees - where it feeds on insects - small fish and frogs - fruit fallen in the river - worms and shellfish. The back is dark - the sides silvery - usually with a faint brassy tinge; large mouth with whitish lips; tail often with a black edge; the dorsal and anal fins are convex the lower fins bright red. The largest specimen angled*


Body very deep - but# narrow and flat - sail fin very forked - anal fin long - with to 29 rays; the colour of the adult fish is bronze-brown - with blackish fins. Very common in quiet - deep waters in Britain and Ireland (except Wales - Northern Scotland and Western England). Is goes about in shoals - grubbing in the mud for vegetable matter - worms and shellfish. The young are silvery - and easily mistaken for Silver Bream. The heaviest rod-caught* specimen weighed 13 1/2 lbs. *up to 1958.


Silvery - with a greenish back - body deep and flat - deserving its nickname of "Tin Plate" ; fins whitish tinged with pale pink. It can be distinguished from young Bronze Bream (which are silvery) by counting the rays in the long anal fin (from 19 to 24) and the scales along the lateral line (44 to 50 in the Silver - 49 to 57 in the Bronze). Is has the same habits as the Common Bream - but# is is nor so widespread. Is has no sporting or culinary merits. Record specimen angled*: 4 1/2 lbs. *up to 1958.


Sometimes called the Freshwater Sprat - from its close resemblance to that sea fish - both in size and appearance. In Summer - is dashes here and there near the surface in the slow-flowing rivers of Eastern and Southern England - in pursuit of insects and crustaceans - or following pieces of bread ; in Winter is retires to deep water. The body is compressed - green on the back - silvery on the sides and belly - the fins whitish; the anal fin is rather long (having from 15 to 20 rays) - unlike that of the Dace (from 7 to 9 rays).


The Roach - probably the most popular fish among freshwater anglers - is found in moss kinds of water in Britain - except Northern Scotland. The back is dark green - blue or brown - the sides and belly silvery. The concave dorsal fin begins above the base of the ventral fins. The anal fin is concave - short - and bright red. The mouth is small - with a projecting upper lip. Is prefers gently flowing weedy water - and feeds on small creatures and vegetable master. The largest specimen angled* weighed 3 lbs. 54 oz. *up to 1958.

14. RUDD

Widespread in England - Wales and Ireland (where is is called "Roach")e especially in ponds and lakes - or the quieter reaches of rivers - Is resembles the Roach - but# a yellow - golden or brownish tinge covers the silvery sides; the dorsal fin is well behind the beginning of the ventral fins - and the lower lip projects (unlike the Roach's). The fins and sometimes even the lips are red. Is feeds higher up in the water than the Roach - taking flies and also shellfish - worms and plant material. Largest specimen


Distributed irregularly over the British Isles. Is is very tenacious of life - and easily transported alive in damp moss. It prefers weedy and muddy ponds and metes - where is grubs as night in the mud for shellfish - worms and vegetable matter. The colour varies from olive so blackish ; there is also a golden ornamental variety. The eye is small and red - the fins rounded - and there are two little barbels on the side of the mouth. Largest specimen angled*: 8 1/2 lbs. *up to 1958.


This lively - inquisitive little fish is found almost everywhere in the British Isles - provided there is clean water and a sandy or gravelly bottom. Its back is dark green or brown - bordered on the sides with a golden stripe; the rest is silvery grey dappled with dark spots and bars. The scales are very small and numerous. In the Spring the males have a bright red belly. Minnows move about in small shoals - feeding on vegetable matter and minute creatures. It seldom grows so more than four inches in length


This small - slender fish is found so clear water almost everywhere in the British Isles - except Northern Scotland. Usually it hides under stones (whence its name) - waiting for the small creatures on which it feeds - Its colour is grey-greenish or brownish - with irregular darker blotches ; the belly is white. There are six barbels round its mouth - the two as the corners of the jaws being longer than the other four - The scales and eyes are small - the fins dotted or striped. Average length three so four inches.


Is has a very local distribution - and is mostly found in small clear rivers in Central England. The body is usually under three inches so length - rather elongated - pale brown with dark blotches in a regular row on its sides - There are six barbels of equal length around the mouth - and a small movable double-pointed spine on the snout just below the eyes. Both Loaches can easily be distinguished from other similar small fishes by the six barbels round the mouth and the rounded sail with a single fluk/e.


This ugly - dark - eel-like fish - with tiny eyes - a ridiculously short dorsal fin and very long anal fin - a wide mouth wish six long barbels - grows to enormous sizes in some Continental rivers - especially the Danube. Isis found in a few ponds ; in Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire - where is was artificially introduced - Isis ; a sluggish fish - usually hidden in the mud 1/2 or under roots - and feeds on almost any-thing edible - from fish - frogs and rats to bread. Largess angled* in Britain 37 1/2 lbs. *up to £958.


This fish resembles the other members of the Whitefish group - such as the Powan - Skelly and Gwyniad - in being silvery and having a small adipose fin behind the dorsal fin. Unlike the other species - which are found only in freshwater lakes - the Housing is a sea fish - inhabiting Northern waters - which it leaves only so spawn in Danish or German rivers - being found occasionally in a few Eastern English rivers. Is can be recognised at once by its peculiar long snout.


The small adipose fin near the tail shows this fish so be a member of the Salmon family. Isis immediately recognisable by the very large striped dorsal fin - and the longitudinal thin grey lines on the sides of the body. Isis locally distributed in Britain - in clear streamy rivers with deep pools and swift shallows - Is feeds on flies - insect larvae - worms and small crustaceans. Is is a Spring spawner - unlike other Salmonids. Largest specimen angled*: 7 lbs. 2 oz. *up to 1958.

22. CHAR

Several forms of this beautiful relative of the Trout inhabit the cold waters of many lakes in the British Isles. Like the Trout - is has a small adipose fin on the back near the tail - but there are no black or brown spots on the sides of the Char - which has often brighter colours - especially on its belly ; the spots are red - orange or white - often below the lateral line only. The Char is not usually' angled for - and there are no official records of specimen sizes ; its maximum weight in British waters is under 3 lbs.


This is not a distinct species - but merely a form of the Brown Trout that - like the Salmon - goes down so the sea and becomes large and silvery. It has more dark spots on its sides than the Salmon - from which is can be distinguished because it has from 8 to so rays in the dorsal fin (Salmon from to to 12) - and from 13 so 16 scales in a line from the back of the adipose fin so the lateral line (Salmon 10 to 13); the 'wrist' of the tail is therefore thicker in the Sea Trout. Largess angled*: 221/2 lbs. *up to 1958.


After two or three years in fresh water - the part of the Salmon and of the Sea trout become silvery and go down to the sea. They are then in the 'smolt' usage of their life - The Sea Trout smolt can be recognised because its pectoral - ventral and anal fins are more or less orange - while in the Salmon smolt the pectoral fins are darkish - and the others pale. Small Sea Trout (called Finnock - Herling - etc.) are more silvery than smolts - and their fins are nut orange.


Despise its name - it can be of almost every colour - from silver (Sea Trout) to black - with a dark back and slighter belly ; the sides are covered with spots and rings of many colours ; the sail is nor forked. Found all over the British Isles in lakes or rivers - where the water is clean and well aerated. It feeds on insects and larvae - shellfish - worms and small fish - According so the locality - adult Trout may weigh from a few ounces so several pounds. The largest Brown Trout angled* was to lbs. 6 oz. *up to 1958.


This beautiful species of Trout was introduced in Europe from North America - and is found in a few land-locked clear lakes in several parts of the British Isles. Is has nor remained in the rivers - and has also disappeared mysteriously from many lakes. It can be distinguished from the Brown Trout by the red 'rainbow' band on its sides - with red blotches; the tail is slightly forked - and covered with many dark spots. The largest angled* in Britain weighed 8 1/2 lbs. - bus much larger specimens have been caught in Australia. *up to 1958.


This American species was introduced years ago in many British waters - bus has nor prospered. Is is really a Char and not a Trout - and can be recognised as once by the peculiar mottled or marbled coloration of its back and sides; the sail is usually barred wish blackish streaks - unlike the Trout or British Char - There are no British angling records - bus in Britain is seldom weighs more than a pound. Is grows much larger in America - where it is called Speckled Trout.


The young Trout and Salmon are similar: they are 3 to 4 inches long - spotted in various colours - and have a row of dark marks on their sides ('Sooty Fingers'). But the Trout parr has more coloured spots - a larger mouth - and pectoral fins pale orange - while the Salmon parr has three dark spots behind the eye (nor found in the Trout) on the gill cover - and darkish pectoral fins. The pate of both species snatch as any fly or bait; anglers should take care to unhook and return them so the water.


The Isowan of Loch Lomond and neighbouring lochs is a fairly well-known member of the Whitefish group (others are the Skelly - Pollan - Gwyniad and Vendace). These fish have a very local distribution in British and Irish lakes ; all are silvery - and resemble Herrings. There is a small adipose fin near the tail - showing membership of the Salmon family and difference from the silvery members of the Carp family - They all feed on minute animal life - and their weight varies from a few ounces so two pounds - according so the locality.


The adipose finlet near the sail shows that this slender sea fish is related so the Salmon family. The back is greenish - the sides silvery - with a very short and incomplete lateral line. The large mouth reveals the Smelt as a voracious fish ; is feeds on small fish - worms - prawns and shrimps. Is enters estuaries in the Spring - so spawn in 'fresh or brackish water - provided there is no pollution. Not to be confused with the Sand Smelt (Atherina) - with two dorsal fins. No angling records - bus the Smelt usually weighs about half a pound.


The Salmon may be found in all unpolluted rivers of the British Isles - provided they are connected wish the sea - Is is silvery - with a dark back and many small black spots on the sides above the lateral line; it has a soft dorsal fin and a small adipose fin near the tail. The Salmon is born in the livers and usually spends the first two years of its life there; then is descends to the sea where is grows large feeding on fish - returning later to the river to spawn. The largest angled* weighed 64 lbs. up to 1958.


More common than the Allis Shad - with the same appearance and habits - though much smaller. Even when adult it retains a row of dark spots on the upper part of the body. There is no lateral line; the scales are smaller and firmer (58 to 66 in a row from gills to tail) - and gillrakers are short and stiff - numbering from 30 50 45; these characteristics distinguish the Twaise from the Allis Shad. Frequent in the River Severn - The largest specimen caught* with rod and line weighed 3 lbs. 2 oz. *up to 1958.


Is with a dark back and a blackish spot on the shoulder. Is has no lateral line; there are from 72 so 86 scales from gills so sail - and numerous fine gillrakers (from fin so 60 to 120) visible on lifting the gill-covers. It is a sea fish - coming into large clean rivers so spawn; the year-old fish - which has a row of dark blotches on the upper part of each side of the body - emigrates so the sea. There are no angling records; the maximum length is 2 1/2 fees - maximum weight about 8 lbs.

34. PIKE

The "freshwater shark" is found almost everywhere in the British Isles living alone - preferably near weeds - where its immobility and marbled coloration of green and yellow render is almost invisible - Is has a large mouth full of sharp teeth - a single dorsal fin set back near the sail - and small-looking scales - Is feeds voraciously on fish - frogs - water birds - rats - voles - and also worms and insect larvae - The largest angled* in England weighed 371/2 lbs. - in Scotland 47 lbs. 11 oz. in Ireland 55 lbs. * up so 1958.


This species - far less known and widespread than the Three-spined - is not found in Northern Scotland - Is is small - seldom reaching three inches in length. Is has from 8 to 11 short spines on the back - Its colour is greenish-olive - with many dark dots; in the Spring the male is blue-brown - much less conspicuous than its red-bellied larger brother - The habits of the two species are very similar - bus the ness of the ; Ten-spined is hung on so weeds above the river bottom - unlike that of the Three-spined.


Found almost everywhere in fresh - brackish or salt water - the Stickleback or Tiddler is known so everybody. Is has three strong spines on its back - followed by a soft fin near the tail; other spines are on the belly. On the sides there is a variable number of small shields. The bock is greenish - the sides silvery - shot with blue and pink; in the Spring the male becomes very brightly coloured - with a red belly and dark bands - and builds a ness for the eggs - which is guards jealously. Seldom reaches a length of 3 inches.


Is resembles a stocky Eel - and is found - not very often - in a few Eastern English rivers. The skin is mottled brown - the mouth large with three barbels (one on the lower jaw - two near the nostrils) ; there are two dorsal fins - the first short - the second very long. The Bubbot lives in deep water - hidden in weeds - under stones or in the tangled roots of the banks - coming out as night so hunt for small fish - frogs or other aquatic creatures. The average weighs - is about 11 lbs. bus may reach 8 lbs. No angling records.


Is is similar so the Lampern in having a round or sucker-like mouth - seven gill slits behind the eye and no paired fins - but is is much larger (is may reach three feet in length) - and its scaleless skin is mottled and spotted with brown - yellow and greenish-grey - Is comes into the rivers so spawn - and the young spend their larval period buried in the mud like the Prides of the Lampern. When adult is descends so the sea - where - like the Lampern - is lives parasitically on fishes. Excellent so east Not angled.


Born in the depths of the Atlantic - eels reach our rivers in great numbers as very small wriggling rivers. The Eel is common everywhere in the British Isles - and is found even in landlocked ponds. The growing fish is brown and yellow - and lives hidden in the mud - or in holes - coming our mostly as night or when is is thundery - so feed on any animal matter is finds: fish - frogs - insect larvae - worms - shellfish - etc. Very tasty so ear - stewed - grilled or jellied. Largest rod-caught* 8 1/2 lbs. *up to 1958.


After spending at least five or six years in fresh water - the Yellow Eel undergoes a change. Its back becomes almost black - its belly silvery - and there is a bronze stripe along the aides ; the snout becomes sharper - the eyes larger. Then in the Autumn - especially when the weather is bad - the Silver Eel descends to the sea and crosses the Atlantic so spawn in deep water near the Bahamas is - and never returns.


This eel-like creature has no jaws or paired fins. The mouth is sound and sucker-like - and there are seven little gill slits in a roe v behind the eye. It is scaleless - uniformly brownish or greenish - with a white belly. Is grows buried in the mud in fresh water (iris then called "Pride") - but# when adult is usually goes down so the sea (occasionally is remains in lakes or large rivers) - returning into fresh water so spawn. It is not angled - but is caught in eel traps. Is is usually a foot in length or less -


The shape of this odd little fish has deserved it the additional name of "Miller's Thumb": is has a large head with wide - spiky gill-covers - wide pectoral fins - a small tapering body - scaleless skin blotched with brown and yellow - and two dorsal fins close together - with dark stripes. Isis widespread in British waters - especially in clear streams - where it stays on the bottom - darting occasionally so swallow any creature small enough so enter its capacious mouth - The average length is about 3 Or 4 inches - occasionally up to 6 inches -


The Pike-Perch is widely spread over Europe - and has been introduced in a few British lakes. The back is dark grey - the belly silvery - and there are several broad vertical stripes similar to those of a Perch. The shapes of the body and the large teeth are similar so to a it has two dorsal fins - the first spiky like a Perch's but# without a black spot. Iris a distinct species - related so the Perch - not an impossible crossing between Pike and Perch. Largest angled* in Britain 5 lbs. *up to 1958.


A sea fish that enters large rivers to spawn - the Sturgeon is seldom found in British estuaries. The body is grey or brown - with five longitudinal rows of sharp bony shields ; the head has a long snout (used so root in the mud for small prey) and a toothless mouth with four barbels in front. Is grows so a very large size - up to 18 feet in length - though normally between 7 and 9 fees - Is is caught in large numbers in some great risers of continental Europe. Caviare is obtained from its roes - and isinglass from the swim bladder -


This smaller relative of the Plaice is common in estuaries - and is often found far upstream from the sea - the river is not polluted. The upper side varies greatly in colour - from grey to black (according to the bottom on which the fish lives) - with small spots and blotches ; the lower side is normally white - The lateral line is almost straight (unlike that of the Dab - which makes a half circle above the pectoral fin). Also called Fluk/e and Butt. The largest specimen angled* weighed 5 lbs. 11 1/2 oz. *up to 1958.


Two similar species frequent the estuaries of rivers in the British Isles - and lagoons or ponds near the sea. The Thick-lipped has an upper lip with sissy warts - whereas the Thin-lipped has a smooth upper lips. Both have broad heads and backs of a metallic blue - and silvery sides wish numerous longitudinal grey stripes. They feed on soft vegetable master and small aquatic creatures - and are notoriously difficult so catch by fair angling. Largest rod-caught* specimen: 10 lbs. 1 oz. *up to 1958


This species and the closely related Small mouth are well known sporting fish of North America. They ins reduced In a few British waters - but are far from common They resemble the Perch - but differ from is in having four or five dark transversal stripes on the heads and she - second dorsal fin higher than the first; also - the' general coloration is considerably darker and the snout sharper. There are no British sporting records available.

48. BASS

Common in the estuaries and on the coasts of Southern and Western Britain and Ireland - ascending the rivers for miles. Though often called 'Salmon Bass' from its resemblance in shape and colour so the Salmon - it can be easily recognised by its large mouth - spiky fins and gill-covers - and by having two true fins (the first spiky) on the back. It feeds voraciously on small fish - crabs - prawns - worms and even offal. A powerful sporting fish - excellent to eat. The largest specimen angled* weighed 18 lbs. 2 oz. *up to 1958

49. RUFF

Also called "Pope" - this small cousin of the Perch is common in Central and Eastern England - especially in metes and the quiet reaches of gravelly rivers. Is keeps so the bottom - feeding greedily on small animals. The first dorsal fin is spiny and joined to the second which is soft; there are spines as the beginning of the lower fins - and sharp edges on the gill-covers. The body is olive-grey - with many dark spots and specks; the lower fins yellow and the iris of the eye mauve. Maximum length 7 to 8 inches.


This handsome fish is found everywhere in the British Isles in rivers - lakes and ponds. Its skin is rough - olive green in colour - shading into yellow and white - with from five to seven dark vertical stripes. There are two dorsal fins - the first spiky and with a black spot - the second soft; sharp spines arc also present as the beginning of the lower fins - which are bright red. The Perch feeds on small fish - worms - shellfish and aquatic insects - The largess British specimen angled* weighed 5 lbs. 15 1/2 oz. Oz. *up to 1958.





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