Many people are familiar with such a well-known fish as tench. Tench is a rather slippery type, which is not easy to hold in your hands, but fishermen are very happy when they catch it on the hook, because tench meat is not only dietary, but also very tasty. Almost everyone knows the appearance of the tench, but few people thought about his life. Let's try to understand his fish habits that characterize the character and disposition, as well as find out where he prefers to settle and feels most comfortable.

Origin of the species and description

Photo: Lin

Photo: Lin

Tench is a species of ray-finned fish belonging to the carp family and the order Cypriniformes. He is the only representative of the genus of the same name lines (Tinca). From the name of the fish family, it is clear that the carp is the closest relative of the tench, although you can’t immediately say so in appearance, because at first glance there is no similarity. The microscopic scales, which have a golden olive hue and an impressive layer of mucus covering it, are the main distinguishing features of the tench.

Interesting fact: On the tench extracted from the water, the mucus dries quickly and begins to fall off whole pieces, it seems that the fish sheds, shedding its skin. Many believe that this is why she was so nicknamed.

There is another assumption regarding the fish name, which characterizes its way of life. The fish is inert and inactive, so many believe that its name is associated with the word “laziness”, which then acquired such a new sound as “tench”.

Video: Tench

Under natural conditions, the tench is not divided into separate varieties, but there are a couple of species that people bred artificially, these are the golden and Kwalsdorf tench. The first one is very beautiful and similar to a goldfish, so it is often settled in ornamental ponds. The second one is outwardly identical to the usual tench, but it grows much faster and has significant dimensions (one and a half kilogram fish is considered standard).

As for the usual tench, created by nature itself, it can also reach impressive sizes, reaching a length of up to 70 cm and a body weight of up to 7.5 kg. Such specimens are rare, so the average length of the fish body varies from 20 to 40 cm. In our country, fishermen most often catch tench weighing from 150 to 700 grams.

live, highlighting:

  • lake tench, which is considered the largest and most powerful, takes a fancy to large lakes and reservoir areas;
  • river tench, which differs from the first in smaller sizes, the mouth of the fish has a raised upwards, inhabits river backwaters and bays;
  • pond tench, which is also smaller than lake tench and perfectly inhabits both natural stagnant reservoirs and artificial ponds;
  • a dwarf tench that lives in stocked water bodies, due to which its dimensions do not exceed a dozen centimeters in length, but it is most common.

Appearance and features

Photo: Tench Fish

Photo: Tench Fish

The constitution of the tench is quite powerful, its body is high and slightly compressed from the sides. The skin of the tench is very dense and covered with scales so small that it becomes similar to the skin of a reptile. The color of the skin seems greenish or olive, but this feeling is created due to the thick layer of mucus. If you clean it off, you can see that a yellowish tone with various shades predominates. Depending on the habitat, the color of the tench can vary from light yellowish-beige with some greenery to almost black. Where the bottom is sandy, and the color of the fish matches it is light, and in reservoirs where there is a lot of silt and peat, the tench has a dark color, all this helps it to disguise itself.

Tench is slippery for a reason, mucus is its natural defense, saving it from predators who do not like slimy fish. The presence of mucus helps the tench prevent oxygen starvation during the unbearable summer heat, when the water warms up very much and there is not enough oxygen in it. In addition, the mucus has healing properties, its action is similar to the action of antibiotics, so tench rarely get sick.

Interesting fact: It has been observed that other species of fish swim to tench, as to doctors, if they get sick. They come closer to the line and begin to rub against its slippery sides. For example, sick pikes do this, at such moments they don’t even think about biting tench.

Fish fins are shortened, look a little thick and their color is much darker than the tone of the whole tench, in some individuals they are almost black. There is no notch on the caudal fin, so it is almost straight. The head of the fish is not large in size. Tench can be called thick-lipped, his mouth is lighter than the color of the entire scale. Pharyngeal fish teeth are arranged in one row and have curved ends. Small thick antennae emphasize not only its solidity, but also family ties with carps. The tench's eyes have a reddish tint, they are small and deep set. Males from females can be easily distinguished, because. they have larger and thicker ventral fins. Even males are smaller than females, because. grow much more slowly.

Where does the tench live?

Photo: Tench in the water

Photo: Tench in the water

On our territory In the country, tench has registered throughout its European part, partially entering Asian spaces.

He is thermophilic, therefore he takes a fancy to the basins of the following seas:

  • Caspian;
  • Black;
  • Azov;
  • Baltic.

Its range occupies spaces from the reservoirs of the Urals to Lake Baikal. Rarely, but tench can be found in such rivers as the Angara, Yenisei and Ob. The fish inhabits Europe and Asian latitudes, where there is a temperate climate. First of all, the tench takes a liking to stagnant water systems in regions with a warm climate.

In such places it is a permanent resident:

  • bays;
  • reservoirs;
  • ponds;
  • lakes;
  • slow streams.

Tench tries to avoid water areas with cold water and rapid currents, so you will not meet him in stormy mountain rivers. Freely and freely tench where reeds and reeds grow, snags stick on the muddy bottom, many quiet backwaters warmed by the sun's rays, overgrown with various algae. Most often, the fish goes to the overgrown depth, keeping close to the steep banks.

The abundance of mud for tench is one of the most favorable conditions, because in it he finds his livelihood. This mustachioed is considered sedentary, living all his life in the chosen territory. Tench prefers a leisurely and solitary existence in the muddy depths.

Interesting fact: Lack of oxygen, salt water and high acidity are not afraid of tench, so he can easily adapt to swampy waters and live in floodplain lakes, where salty sea water has access.

Now you know where tench fish are found. Let's find out how it can be fed.

What do tench eat?

Photo: Tench fish underwater

Photo: Tench fish underwater

For the most part, tench's menu consists of invertebrates that live on the muddy bottom of the reservoir.

The diet of fish is quite diverse, tench is not averse to a snack:

  • bloodworms;
  • crustaceans;
  • water beetles;
  • leeches;
  • swimmers;
  • fry of other fish;
  • phytoplankton;
  • mollusks;
  • water bugs;
  • all kinds of larvae (especially mosquitoes).

In addition to animal food, tench also eats plant food with pleasure: a variety of algae, shoots of sedge, reed, cattail, water lily stems.

An interesting fact: Tench is unpretentious in food, has no special food preferences (especially seasonal ones), therefore it absorbs everything that comes under its fins.

In places of feeding, fish choose near-bottom areas with a muddy or peaty bottom and thickets of underwater vegetation. To find food, the lines have to literally dig, breaking the bottom, which provokes the appearance of air bubbles on the surface of the water surface, which give out the location of the lines. The feeding time of the lines falls on very early morning or predawn twilight. During the day, with an abundance of sunlight, the fish does not want to feed. At night, the tench does not feed, but sleeps in the bottom recesses. With the onset of autumn colds, the fish eat much less and feed less frequently, gradually preparing for hibernation, when feeding stops completely.

Peculiarities of character and lifestyle

Photo: Golden Line

Photo: Golden Line

The tench, unlike its carp relatives, is characterized by slowness, slowness, slowness. Tench is very cautious, shy, so it can be difficult to catch him. Having caught on the hook, his whole being changes: he begins to show aggression, resourcefulness, throws all his strength into resistance and can easily break loose (especially a weighty specimen). This is not surprising, because when you want to live, you still don’t get so wrapped up.

Ling, like a mole, avoids bright sunlight, does not like to go out, staying in secluded, shady, water thickets at a depth. Mature individuals prefer to exist in complete solitude, but young animals often unite in flocks of 5 to 15 fish. The tench also seeks food at dusk.

An interesting fact: Despite the fact that the tench is inert and inactive, it makes forage migrations almost every day, moving from the coastal zone to the depth, and then back to the shore. During spawning, he, too, can look for a new place for spawning.

In deep autumn, the lines burrow into the silt and fall into suspended animation or hibernation, which ends with the arrival of spring days, when the water column begins to warm up to four degrees with a plus sign. Having awakened, the lines rush closer to the shores, densely overgrown with aquatic vegetation, which they begin to eat after a long winter diet. It is noticed that in strong heat the fish becomes lethargic and tries to stay closer to the bottom, where it is cooler. When autumn approaches and the water begins to cool a little, the tench is most active.

Social Structure and Reproduction

Photo: A flock of tenches

Photo: A flock of tenches

As already noted, adult lines prefer a solitary existence in the dark depths to a collective lifestyle. Only inexperienced youth form small flocks. Do not forget that the tench is thermophilic, therefore, it spawns only towards the end of May. When the water is already well warmed up (from 17 to 20 degrees). Sexually mature lines become closer to the age of three or four, when they gain weight from 200 to 400 grams.

For their spawning grounds, fish choose shallow water places that are overgrown with all kinds of plants and are slightly blown by the wind. The spawning process proceeds in several stages, the intervals between which can be up to two weeks. Eggs are deposited shallowly, usually within a meter depth, attaching to tree branches and various aquatic plants lowered into the water.

Interesting fact: Tenches are very prolific, one female can produce from 20 to 600 thousand eggs, the incubation period of which varies from only 70 to 75 hours.

Tench eggs are not very large and have a characteristic greenish tint. The fry that were born, about 3 mm long, do not leave the place of their birth for several more days, being reinforced by the nutrients remaining in the yolk sac. Then they embark on independent swimming, uniting in flocks. Their diet first consists of zooplankton and algae, then benthic invertebrates appear in it.

Small fish grow slowly, by the age of one year their length is 3-4 cm. at the age of five, their length reaches a twenty-centimeter mark. It has been established that development and growth of tenches continue for seven years, and they live from 12 to 16.

Natural enemies of tenches

Photo: Tench Fish

Photo: Tench Fish

Surprisingly, such a peaceful and shy fish as tench does not have so many enemies in natural wild conditions. This fish owes its unique mucus that covers the body. Predatory fish and mammals, who love to eat fish, turn up their noses at the tench, which does not excite their appetite because of the thick layer of unpleasant mucus, which also has its own specific smell.

Most often, tench eggs and inexperienced fry suffer in large quantities. The tench does not guard its clutches, and the fry are very vulnerable, therefore, both small fish and eggs are eaten with pleasure by various fish (pikes, perches), and animals (otters, muskrats) are not averse to feasting on them and waterfowl. Natural disasters also become the cause of the death of a huge number of eggs, when the flood ends and the water level drops sharply, then the caviar, located in shallow water, simply dries up.

A person can also be called an enemy of the tench, especially one who skillfully manages with a fishing rod. Often tench fishing begins even before spawning. Anglers use all sorts of tricky baits and baits, because the tench is very wary of everything new. The caught tench has a number of advantages: firstly, it is very fleshy, secondly, its meat is very tasty and dietary, thirdly, there is no need to clean the scales, so it does not take so long to mess with it.

Population and species status

Photo: Lin

Photo: Lin

In the vastness of Europe, the area of ​​tench settlement is very extensive. If we talk about the tench population as a whole, it can be noted that its numbers are not threatened with extinction, but there are a number of negative anthropogenic factors that affect it negatively. First of all, this is the deterioration of the ecological situation of those reservoirs where tench was registered. This is the result of rash economic activities of people.

The mass death of tench is observed in winter, when there is a sharp drop in the water level in reservoirs, this leads to the fact that wintering fish simply freeze into the ice, they do not have enough space to normally burrow into the silt and overwinter. On the territory of our country beyond the Urals, poaching is flourishing, which is why tench populations have significantly decreased there.

All these human actions have led to the fact that in some regions, both in our state and abroad, the tench began to disappear and cause concern for environmental organizations, therefore it was included in the Red Books of these places. Once again, it is worth clarifying that such a situation has developed only in certain places, and not everywhere, basically, the tench is quite widely settled and its numbers are at the proper level, without causing any fears, which cannot but rejoice. It remains to be hoped that this will continue in the future.

Protection of lines

Photo: Lin from the Red Book

Photo: Lin from the Red Book

As noted earlier, the number of tenches in some regions has been greatly reduced as a result of barbaric human actions, so this interesting fish had to be included in the Red Books of individual regions. Tench is listed in the Red Book of Moscow as a vulnerable species in this area. The main limiting factors here are the discharges of dirty wastewater into the Moscow River, the concreting of the coastline, a large number of motorized swimming facilities that interfere with shy fish, and the growth of the population of rotan that eats tench eggs and fry.

In the east of Siberia, tench is also considered a rarity, especially in the waters of Lake Baikal. The growth of poaching led to this, therefore the tench is in the Red Book of Buryatia. Tench is considered rare in the Yaroslavl region due to the lack of secluded places overgrown with aquatic vegetation, where he could safely spawn. As a result, he is listed in the Red Book of the Yaroslavl region. In the Irkutsk region, tench is also listed in the Red Book of the Irkutsk region. In addition to our country, tench is protected in Germany, because. its numbers are also very small there.

The following protective measures are recommended for the conservation of this species of fish:

  • constant monitoring of the state of known populations;
  • monitoring of places wintering and spawning grounds;
  • preservation of natural coastal zones within the city;
  • cleansing of debris and technogenic pollution of spawning and wintering areas;
  • establishment of a ban on fishing in spawning period;
  • tougher punishment for poaching.

In the end, I would like to add that tench, unusual in its mucus and scale size, opened up for many from different angles, because they were analyzed his habits and character traits, which turned out to be very peaceful, sedate and unhurried. The appearance of the handsome tench cannot be confused with any other, because. she is original and very original.

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