Ide is a large fish, moreover, with beautiful, iridescent scales in the light and tasty. Therefore, it is popular both with anglers and for breeding – sometimes they simply admire it. They are found in most of the rivers of Europe and Siberia, unpretentious and able to live in polluted water bodies or cold climates.
Origin of the species and description
The most ancient fossil fish – pikaya, lived on Earth approximately 530 million years before our era. She was small in size – 4-5 cm, and could swim – pikaya did this by bending her body. The ray-finned ide, to which the ide belongs, appeared about a hundred million years later – the oldest found representative of this class is Andreolepis hedei.
Thus, ray-finned fish are one of the oldest highly organized organisms still preserved on the planet. Of course, they have changed a lot over the past eras, and modern species occurred much later – the first teleosts appeared about 200 million years ago.
At first they were small in size, their evolution was slow until the mass extinction in the Cretaceous period, when most of the species of large living organisms disappeared from the face of the Earth. Because of this, many niches were vacated, which the surviving ray-finned ones began to occupy: just as mammals began to dominate on land, so they do in the water. The extinction hit them too, a large part of the species disappeared – for example, almost all shallow-water fish died out.
However, according to studies of ichthyolites – microscopic particles of teeth and fish scales, if sharks dominated the seas at the end of the Cretaceous period, after the catastrophe, dominance gradually began to turn to bony, the number of species and sizes of these fish began to increase.
At the same time, cyprinids arose and gradually began to spread across different continents. For example, they reached Africa about 20-23 million years ago. When the ide originated is not exactly established, it probably happened only a few million years ago. The scientific description of the species was compiled by Carl Linnaeus in 1758, initially it was attributed directly to the cyprinids and named Cyprinus idbarus. But then it was found that the ide belongs to the genus dace or, in Latin, Leuciscus. As a result, the modern scientific name of the species, Leuciscus idus, appeared.
Appearance and features
It grows up to 40-50 cm, and weighs about 2-2.5 kilograms. Significantly larger individuals also come across – sometimes fishermen come across ides almost a meter long and weighing 7-8 kg, but still this is a rarity. Long-lived fish can grow to such sizes in conditions of an abundance of food – and in total, ides can live up to 20 years.
Males are slightly smaller than females, but more numerous. The ide scales shine brightly with a silvery light, and if direct sunlight falls on it, it begins to play with various shades from the lightest to the darkest. The bottom fins are red, there are ides, which have the same color and upper ones.
But more often they are dark blue, as well as the back of this fish. Young ides are lighter, especially their fins. In general, ides can differ markedly from each other – it depends on their age, place and even the season in which observations are made.
The ide is very similar to the chub, but there are several signs by which these fish can be distinguished :
- the shape of the head is sharper, while the ide is smoothed;
- the mouth is narrower;
- the back is lighter;
- scales are smaller;
- the body is slightly flattened on the sides.
Interesting fact: Iazis are very careful, therefore, when fishing on them, you can’t make noise, and even more so splash: they have good hearing and, as soon as they suspect something is wrong, they go into the depths and do not react to the bait.
Now you know what an ide fish looks like. Let's see where she lives.
Where does the ide live?
It is distributed very widely – almost throughout Europe, except for its southern part (the countries of the Mediterranean coast), as well as in Siberia up to Yakutia. In addition, it was introduced in the USA, in the state of Connecticut. The population of American ides is growing quite rapidly, so it is likely that their further settlement in the rivers of the continent.
Thus, the ide inhabits the basins of such rivers as:
There are especially many of them in the Volga and its tributaries, and other rivers of Russia are rich in this fish. It also lives in ponds and flowing lakes. He does not like cold rivers, as well as swift ones, but in leisurely flat ides there are usually a lot, especially if they have a clayey, slightly silted bottom.
In addition to fresh water, they are also able to live in brackish, and therefore found in sea bays near river mouths. Iazis like to live near whirlpools, near bridges, a bank with bushes hanging over the water is also a sure sign that you can catch ides here. This fish loves to swim right under the bushes, because insects can fall from them, which it feeds on.
Backwaters, flowing lakes and other places with as quiet water as possible, preferably deep, are where ides are most often found. They are able to live in rather cold climates and easily endure strong temperature changes, do not hibernate in winter, although they become much less active.
What does the ide eat?
Ration the ide is very extensive, it includes:
- insects and their larvae;
- tadpoles and frogs;
We can say that the ide eats almost all small living creatures, from worms to caviar and fry of other fish. The ides are gluttonous, especially in the spring after spawning: at this time they search for food for a significant part of the day, for which they usually swim up to the very shore, where it is especially abundant.
Although living creatures predominate in the diet of the ide, it also feeds on algae – especially often does this when stocking up before wintering, fattening fat reserves. In summer, there is especially a lot of food, ides near the coast eat larvae of various living creatures, contributing to the decrease in the number of mosquitoes and other harmful insects.
If carrion turns up, they eat it too, and small fish, young frogs and crayfish should beware during molting. Ides are most actively eaten during the flowering of viburnum, then the peak of the fishing season for them comes – they peck very willingly and, having found a good place, you can catch a lot of ides.
Interesting fact: Ide can jump over low obstacles, and the largest individuals are completely capable of jumping out of the water to a height of one and a half meters.
Character and lifestyle features
The ide is a smart fish, it knows how to use both bad weather and human activity: during rains and winds, as well as from passing boats, waves rise, washing out worms and other living creatures from the ground near the shore, and taking them with them into the water. And the ide is right there!
They rush to the shore along with the wave, and when it rolls back, they catch their prey. Large ides prefer to feed at night, especially when twilight ends or, on the contrary, dawn is about to come – these are their favorite hours. Young people are looking for food most of the day – they are generally much more active than adults.
Iazis are careful and try to settle in places inaccessible to a seine – for example, in pits with an uneven bottom, among snags. The larger the ide, the less often it leaves its hole – usually only after rain. But the young fish, smaller, swims closer to the surface, it can often be seen in the grass along with roach, and the weather has little effect on it.
The ides can jump out of the water to grab the insect. But when it has already fallen into the water itself, they take the prey very carefully, so that the circles diverge small, as if it is a much smaller fish. When an ide hunts at a depth, it is given out by rising bubbles.
The sun does not like it when it starts to actively heat, they go deeper under water, although from time to time young fish emerge to have a bite, but even then they prefer to do it near the shore, in the shade of trees or bushes – especially since there is more prey under them.
Such a daily regimen is established for them in the warm season, and they spend the cold months in pits at the bottom of the reservoir. But you can also catch ides when there is ice on the river, with the exception of a couple of months – in January and February they eat practically nothing, spending supplies, so it won’t work to catch them.
In winter, at first, the fish have enough air accumulated in bubbles under water, but towards the end, its shortage begins to be felt, due to which ides, like other fish, swim to polynyas. Therefore, you should look for them at the confluence of small rivers and streams.
Social structure and reproduction
Mostly ide live in flocks, occupying a certain area of the reservoir – relatively small, and moving only within it. Adult ide no longer gather in large flocks, and usually only a few individuals live nearby. Old fish often prefer to settle alone. They begin to breed from 3-5 years old – the better the fish eats, the faster it grows. It largely depends on where it lives: growth is faster in southern waters.
Spawning takes place in shallow water – small rivers or shallows. For spawning, fish gather in large flocks, consisting of several, and sometimes a dozen ordinary ones. It takes place from March to May, depending on the habitat – it is necessary for the ice to melt and the water temperature to reach 8 degrees and above.
Spawning ides are sent upstream, usually among the first fish. Their flock can swim a long distance before finding a good place for spawning – sometimes it is tens of kilometers. In such a flock there is a hierarchy: the largest and most adult individuals spawn first, followed by smaller ones, and the last are the youngest roaches.
They swim slowly, covering about 10 kilometers a day, stopping for rest and feeding. They spawn near uneven bottoms and slopes in depth, and often swim in reeds in lakes. It is important that the water depth is small, but sufficient – half a meter or a little more.
Under good conditions, spawning can be completed in a couple of days, but if bad weather interferes, it can be long – up to 2-3 weeks. Ide eggs are thrown in the mornings and evenings, for this they swim to the current so that it carries it away. An adult female lays about 70-120 thousand eggs, and only a very small part of them can become at least fry.
The eggs do not differ much from the eggs of other cyprinids, the diameter is 1-1.5 mm. They stick to stones, snags and other obstacles, but are more often picked up by the current and eaten by other fish. If the egg is lucky not to be eaten, after a week and a half, a fry appears from it.
During spawning, ides become careless and it is much easier to catch them. Immediately after its completion, they swim back to where they used to live – they no longer do this in a flock, but one individual, so that gradually their number in the spawning place decreases. After returning, they immediately go out to fatten.
Gradually, the flock gathers together again. Young fish, which have not yet reached puberty, are not sent to spawn, but remain in their usual habitats. After the reunion of the flock, if the water in the river is kept at a low level, it can go to a new place, now more suitable, at a normal level it remains.
Natural enemies of ides
Among the main objectives of river ide does not belong to predators, that is, no one hunts it purposefully – after all, an adult fish is too large. But even ides that have grown to normal sizes have someone to be afraid of – primarily pikes and taimen, these fish can try to bite them.
The oldest and largest individuals have no natural enemies at all, and only fishermen threaten them. Ordinary adult ides, in addition to larger predatory fish and the same fishermen, can also be threatened by beavers, minks and other large rodents. Iazi often swim near the shore, where these dexterous animals are waiting for them, for which such fish is one of the most desired delicacies.
The smaller the ide, the more threats for him – young, still growing individuals weighing up to one and a half kilograms, are threatened by all of the above, and besides them, also smaller fish, unable to cope with adult ides, and birds of prey like terns and kingfishers – they feast on fish They also love it.
The biggest threats are for fry and eggs – almost any predator that lives in or near water hunts for them. Most of the caviar never turns into fry precisely because there are too many hunters to feast on it. Among the fry themselves, the survival rate is also very low.
But if the ide managed to survive the first year, his chances of surviving to old age increase dramatically, although they still cannot be called high – there are too many threats. And only after the ide reaches a weight of 2-3 kilograms, he can feel more confident.
Population and species status
Ide is a hardy fish, it doesn’t care about cold, it likes heat less, but it also tolerates, and therefore lives in such wide spaces with different climates. Even moderate water pollution is not scary – ides are able to live in an ecologically unfavorable environment.
Therefore, despite the active catch, their population in the rivers of Europe and Siberia is high, and nothing threatens the species as a whole. But fishing is not allowed everywhere: for example, in some regions of Russia the ide is rare and protected by the state, other measures are being taken to preserve and restore its population.
Thus, in the Moscow River, the ide population has greatly decreased. As a result, protection measures began to be taken: in the habitats of ides there are coastal protective strips – activities are prohibited on them, with the exception of nature restoration; fishing is prohibited in some, and in others it is possible only with a license.
The best places for spawning were closed with barriers, and motorized swimming was prohibited. Wintering pits and spawning biotopes are maintained in a condition suitable for ide, if necessary, work is carried out to restore them. Similar measures are being taken in some European countries. But in general, the species belongs to those that are not threatened, therefore, free fishing is allowed in most habitats.
Interesting fact: Very often ides are bred in ponds, this is facilitated by beautiful view, and activity – it is interesting to watch them hunting for insects, especially since they are unpretentious – you just need to have more vegetation in the pond, and the ides will feel great.
Ide is a fish that is not only beautiful, but also tasty: fried, stewed or boiled, they are very popular. Therefore, they often fish on them, and catching a large ide is a reward for any fisherman. Fortunately, they breed well and are not in danger, they are tenacious to the envy of many others and only expand their range.