The Common Rudd

rudd

Scientifically named scardinius erythrophthalmus, the common Rudd is as invasive species of fish that is native to Europe. Due to its invasive nature the fish has spread to Asia, the UK, USA, Canada and other parts of the planet. This type of fish is found in slow moving or still waters, what makes them dangerous to the ecosystem is they can survive anywhere and just like all other invasive species they multiply extremely first. They have been noted as good bait used by guides when targeting sturgeon in British Columbia. If you do happen to visit BC make sure you check out Seabreeze Whale Watching Adventures.

Understand that it is illegal to contribute to the spread of invasive species, you see most invasive species are spread by the actions of man e.g. when you take live fish from one place and release it in another or when you dispose off unwanted live minnows.

How to identify Rudd

The easiest way to identify Rudd is to look at their eyes; their eyes are yellow in colour and have a big red spot above the pupil. The mouth of the fish is upturned; this is an adaptation that allows it to feed easily at the surface of the water.

Rudd closely resembles another type of fish known as the roach. The dorsal fin is placed close to the rear and its skin is yellowish green, there is another variety of Rudd that has a golden colour making it popular with pond keepers.

Size wise the fish never grows more than 50cm and prefers areas where the water is clear and rich in plant life.

Generally the fish has:

  1. a large body (in minnow standards)
  2. an upturned mouth
  3. Resembles golden shiners and measure anywhere from 10-25cm

Reproduction

hook-159682__180The Female Rudd can lay up to 200,000 eggs in a single year which means that they can reproduce very fast. Understand that, Rudd can breed with a species of fish mostly found in the US known as the golden shiner; this is worsened by the fact that they are comfortable in many different ecosystems.

Rudd feed on aquatic vegetation, other small fish, insects, and when they are young they mostly feed on zoo plankton. They also mature very fast, it takes them two to three years to fully mature and can live up to seventeen years.

Invasive species

As mentioned above Rudd is an invasive species, this means that it is dangerous to ecosystems that it is not native to. Therefore, as a fisher man you should learn how to identify this species of fish, this will help you to contribute to efforts to stop its spread.

What happens when an invasive species is introduced to a new area is, it competes with the local species for food and sometimes they can even become parasite e.g. when they feed off other fish’s eggs. This will lead to an increase in the numbers of invasive species and a decline in the numbers of native species which is bad for the ecosystem.

If you find an invasive species in an area that it is not native to, you should contact the authorities in your area before things get out of hand.

Get Your Dace On!

Dace

Dace refers to a species of fish found in the UK known for being fast; nicknamed “the dart” dace is a freshwater fish that belongs to scientific family Cyprinidae. The fish is found mostly in rivers and streams in the UK and other parts of the planet. Note that, this is an invasive species; therefore you should never use it as live bait.

The primary way this invasive species of fish spreads to new areas is through humans, it is a small fish meaning that it is very easy to transport even without knowledge.

When introduced to a new area the fish will multiply very fast and sooner or later if actions are not taken, they will take over the region leading to a decline in the number of native species.

How to identify dace

The importance of being able to identify this species of fish is it will allow you to assist in efforts geared towards stopping its spread. You see the thing is when you introduce an invasive species of fish to a new area. It will compete for food with local species and most times the invasive species will win, this will lead to a decline in the number of local species and an increase in numbers of the invasive species.

This is a freshwater fish meaning that you will only find them in fresh water, on average the common dace grows up to 40cm and has two or three dorsal spines, three anal spines, seven or nine dorsal soft rays and weigh less than 1000 grams.

The best way to distinguish them from other species of fish in the UK is to look for the following:

  • They have subterminal mouths: the upper jaw is a bit longer
  • They don’t have projecting snouts
  • They don’t grow more than 30cm
  • Their horizontal branch is shorter than the vertical branch
  • Their lateral lines have between forty-seven and fifty-two scales.

The fish reproduces and matures very fast and can live up to fifteen years.

Dace spawn in autumn and reside in backwaters and lower reaches of rivers; they mostly reside in rivers but some have been found in lakes and still water. It takes them one year to mature meaning that they grow up very fast. They feed on zoobenthos, insects, plants, weeds algae and Ariel insects.

How they are controlled in the UK

Controlling invasive species of fish is not easy because of the reproduce and mature very fast, this means that eradication is almost impossible. In the UK invasive species are controlled through regular monitoring of water bodies, this helps in mapping out areas that are at risk of invasion.

As an angler it is in your best interest to contribute to controlling these invasive species, what you have to do is learn to identify them. If you find an invasive species in an area that it is not native to, you should report your finding to the authorities; you should also avoid using live bait in new areas when fishing.

Ruffe

bird

Ruffe

Ruffe refers to a species of fish found in parts of the UK, northern Asia and the great lakes; this is a fresh water fish meaning that it is only found in the inner regions of the planet. The fish is a smaller member of the perch family and rarely grows beyond beyond 5 inches; one important thing that you should note is this is an invasive species, meaning that if it is introduced to a new environment/ecosystem it will take over.

Ruffe reproduce faster than other species of fish, this makes them a threat to other species. When they were introduced into the great lakes of North America the results were and are still unfortunate, what happens is Ruffe compete with other fish for food. And due to the fact that they eat other fish’s eggs and they multiply rapidly they become a danger to the ecosystem.

How to spot Ruffe

Learning how to spot invasive species of fish is very important because you can help in conservation efforts, when you spot this type of fish in areas that it’s not native to, you have a responsibility to report to proper authorities.

Generally the fish is very slimy when you handle it, lengthwise it usually measures less than six inches. Visually the fish resembles perch but only on a smaller scale. The fish has no scales on its head; the mouth is slightly downturned and has a very large dorsal fin.

Diet

Ruffe diet consists mainly of fish egg, larvae, aquatic bugs, zoo benthos and small aquatic bugs. The fish keeps its diet even when moved to new environments.

When it comes to matters reproduction Ruffe reproduce at an extremely high rate, a single female can lay more than 200,000 eggs in a single year. Ruffe spawning season starts from the month of April all the way up to June.

How they spread

As an angler you should understand that this is a pest, therefore if you use it as a minnow you may contribute to its spread. The primary way the fish spreads is through humans, For instance, when you dispose off unwanted bait. As a consequence of this, It is recommended that you never transport live Ruffe, if caught there maybe consequences depending on laws in your area.

How they affect other species

Ruffe have two major advantages one their side, one they multiply quickly and two they can survive in all sorts of environments. Their numbers means that they consume lots of food; this is bad because other species of fish of fish won’t find food even if they feed on other fish. Look at it this way, before most species of fish start feeding on other species they first rely on primary food sources such as larvae which are annihilated by Ruffe.

Simply put they reduce the food supply in effect starving the other species of fish.

How to help stop their spread

You can help spread the spread of Ruffe by doing the following:

  • Don’t release any type of fish from one water body to another
  • Don’t transport live Ruffe
  • Report to authorities when you find them in areas they are not common in

Bream Me Up Scotty

bream

Silver bream

Silver bream is a name used to identify several species of fish found in different parts of the planet, in the UK silver bream refers to a small silver colored fish that is sometimes mistaken for bream i.e. they look like juvenile bream. The only difference is they don’t have slimy bodies.

A good way to identify silver bream is to look at its back; on the back of the fish the color is light brown which is different from bream (Common bream have silver backs depending on species). Another way is to count the scales, the difference between silver bream and common bream is common bream have more than eleven rows of scales in the area between the lateral line and the dorsal fin, silver bream on the other hand have less than ten.

This type of fish resides in slow flowing rivers, canals and sometimes in shallow lakes.

How to spot silver bream

Silver bream rarely grow beyond fifty five centimeters and the average weight is around two to four kilograms, however, some can grow up to seventy five centimeters. The largest ever caught weighed ninety kilograms.

The easiest way to identify is to look at their color and shape of the body, silver bream have a high back flattened body and have a silvery grey color. They also have undershot mouths.

Reproduction

The female silver bream can lay up to 300, 000 eggs during spawning season, the spawning season starts from April and ends in June. It takes them three or four years to fully mature.

Where to catch silver bream

The first thing you must learn is how to identify silver bream; you should also study their feeding patterns. Silver bream are most active early in the morning, late at night and sometimes at daytime. If you are fishing in clear waters you should be able to identify them just by looking.

Remember, there are other species of fish that closely resemble silver bream.

How to catch silver bream

Catching silver bream is not that straight forward, look at it this way, most times the get caught by accident. You should understand that silver bream is a small fish, meaning that you should not use big hooks. Instead, you should go for tackles that are suitable for catching small fish. The good thing is catching silver bream is easy, all you have to do is find areas where they like to feed.

Silver bream feed close to shore and can sometimes be spotted during day time; therefore all that’s needed is a keen eye.

If you are out sport fishing you should consider hunting for other species of fish, you see the thing is, silver bream don’t make very good sport fish. This is because they are easy to find and they won’t put up much of a fight. The most commonly used bait used when fishing for silver beam include: maggots, sweet corn and boilies.

Generally, the best way to catch silver bream is to learn their feeding habits, use the right bait or lure and fish in the right area. And don’t forget it is easy to mistake silver breams with other fish so it pays to learn how to identify them.

 

Perch Fishing

perch

Perch

Perch is a name used to identify fish which belong to the genus Perca, there are many distinct species of perch that are native to different parts of the planet; this makes them one of the most abundant fish on the planet. Perch are fresh water fish that have long rounded bodies and have rough scales.

Perch are popular as sport fishes and as food; the most commonly found type of perch is the yellow perch.

How to identify perch

There are many fish out there that resemble perch but are not part of the perch family, to identify perch you should look for fish that have long, rounded bodies, lidless eyes, a pair of nostrils, and have rough scales. Perch normally reside in ponds, lakes, rivers and even streams.

Perch feed on insects, smaller fish, larvae and shellfish.

They spawn during spring, can grow up to a length of 12 inches and weigh as much as 3 pounds making them good sport fish.

How to catch perch

The first thing that you must learn before you go out fishing is where to find the fish you are after, the best place to fish for perch is in lakes. What you have to do is look for the rocky points and reefs in the lake basin; the reason for this is simple. Perch feed on smaller fish which are mostly found in such areas.

The awesome thing about fishing for perch is you won’t need thick lines or rods to reel them in because perch are not that big. Timing is also very important, the best time to go fishing for perch is early in the morning or late in the evening when the fish are feeding. This is the time that they are most active.

How to bait perch

The good thing about perch is they will go for anything, however, to increase your chances of success you should go for live bait. The two most recommended options here are: worms or minnows. Take note, before you use any type of minnow you should check whether or not it is an invasive species.

If you use species such as Ruffe as bait you should know that you are doing a disservice to the region, you see when you introduce a new invasive species to an ecosystem things will change. The invasive species will compete with the native species for food and in the end balance will be lost, therefore before you go fishing educate yourself on what you can and what you can’t use as bait in the UK. The thing is there are laws that guide what you can use as bait in some areas, if you violate these laws you may face steep fines.

Back to perch, the best option is to use bait that the fish can swallow whole, this also means that you should use a small hook. If you use big hook or large bait the fish will just take your bait and leave the hook. Colors don’t matter here you can use any.