Fish and other aquatic creatures

Species and features of the bleak fish


Bleak ordinary - agile small fish, is found everywhere in the rivers and lakes of the middle belt. Most likely, it got its name because of the easily crumbling scales, which literally stick to the hands, “glue”, just take it.

In different regions of Russia and the countries of the former Soviet Union, you can find similar names for fish - bleak, seljava, sylivka, skovodka, tophopper, shakleya and others.

Bleak, fish description

Bleak has a pelagic coloration characteristic of fish inhabiting the water column. The back of the fish is gray with a green tint, an elongated abdomen and compressed sides are light.

Scales delicate, small and silver. The tail and dorsal fin are dark gray, and the pectoral, ventral, and anal fins are lighter.

Depending on the living environment, morphological changes are observed. Thus, the lake bleak is larger than the river, it has a higher body, and the lower and elongated forms are inherent in the river.

It grows soon, but usually does not reach a length of 15 cm. It weighs no more than 40-60 grams. Life expectancy for various described data ranges from 5 to 9 years.

With increased density of predators, especially in closed reservoirs, it can be reduced to 3-4 years.

Population and distribution

Fish bleak is everywhere numerous. Juveniles have a high mortality rate due to the powerful biotic press of asp, pike, perch, perch and bersh. However, despite the seasonal survival of fry only about 0.2%, the relative number of its juveniles by the end of the warm period remains among the first ones, behind only the perch.

The geography of the habitat is very significant. In Russia and in the countries of the post-Soviet space of the European continent, it is distributed along the rivers of the Baltic and White Seas, a large population is dispersed in the basins of the Northern Dvina, the Black and Azov Seas, and the water area of ​​the Caspian Sea.
It inhabits many natural and artificial reservoirs and ponds.

Biology bleak

In popular literature, the description of habits and instincts are of a practical fishing nature, but in biology it is strictly classified. According to the systematics of the species, bleak ordinary belongs to the carp family, the genus of bleak.

Of the distinguishing features there are large eyes and the final mouth, directed obliquely upwards. The lower jaw comes forward. Pharyngeal teeth are double-row, curved at the ends and have notches.

Characterized by a pointed leathery keel without scales, located between the ventral and elongated keel fin. In the lateral line from 45 to 55 scales, and a sufficient number of gill stamens from 17 to 22 allow filtering phytoplankton.


It is distributed and migrated in a reservoir based on the degree of illumination; the more well-lit this or that section, the more likely the bleak will be there. During the day, she prefers to stay away from the coast in sunny, not shaded places, with the advent of twilight she goes to the coastal shallow water.

It is found in rivers, choosing quiet areas, as well as in flowing reservoirs and lakes, less often in ponds. The bleak spends a considerable part of the year in the upper and middle horizons and only waits late autumn and winter at the bottom in the pits. Not bad gets accustomed in aquariums.

Often found on the rapid flow of small rivers.
Adults keep deeper and gather in flocks on clean, not shaded parts of the reservoir. Young fish on the contrary, are concentrated in the shallow coastal zone and among underwater vegetation.

Bleak behavior

The behavior of bleaks depends on the season, weather, state and biological activity, feeding depth of the water area, the presence of predators and the species population. It is not difficult to detect in clear, sunny weather, when she swims near the surface, chasing insects, plankton or other aquatic organisms.

Bleak is very active and resides in the daytime in constant motion. Only at night it stops motionless near surface thickets, under the branches of coastal trees and shrubs or on a weak current and “comes to life” only at dawn.
It is the incessant movement that often saves them from inevitable death, it is not rare to see them scattering from the pursuit of jumping out of the water.

Seasonal and daily rhythm of feeding is similar to all fish of the carp family. Chironomid larvae, zooplankton, phytoplankton predominate in the diet, and during the summer period the insects (podenka, kazar, mosquitoes, etc.) can only pass on to them. Forms flocks, or shoals, in most large rivers is the main prey in the diet of predators - mainly asp and perch.

Main habitat

Bleak is considered one of the most common fish. She lives in almost all rivers of the European part of the country. And also it can be found in lakes and artificially created reservoirs. In the rivers of Europe, this species is very common. Especially rich in bleak Northern Dvina.

It is interesting that in different regions this species is called in its own way. So, in the north of Russia, the following names can be found most often: “seleva”, “shakley” and “vandysh”. Residents of the Middle Volga region call this fish a "blueness". In the Tver region is well-known fish "topline". Residents of the southern regions of the country, for example, Rostov and Voronezh, call this fish "sebel". Fish "back" is known in the Saratov region. In Poland, the famous "ukley".

Appearance features

Bleak has always been considered a small fish. The length of this fish ranges from 12 to 15 centimeters, but there are cases of catching larger specimens. Body weight does not exceed 60−80 grams. That is why most fishermen do not aim to catch this species.. Most often she falls for bait by accident.

Among fishermen, bleak is considered a very beautiful fish. It has an elongated body, covered with small scales. The sides and abdomen are characterized by their crystal whiteness. The back changes its color from grayish blue to emerald green. The fins are gray. Distinctive features can be considered very large eyes and a mouth bent upwards. The lower jaw is quite forward.

Appearance may vary slightly depending on the habitat. So, in the Nara river there is a bleak with a very short and wide nose. The fish living in Europe have a bright band on their backs.

Bleak fishing

On an industrial scale is not caught. Caught in the catches of trawlers like weed fish. Environmental organizations are not protected, the catch is not controlled. In amateur and sport fishing, bleak occupies a worthy place due to its omnipresence and abundance.

Catching brisk fish is not easy, due to the sharp, unreliable attack of the nozzle and the complexity of timely hooking, a good reaction of the angler is required.

Bleak fishing is popular, interesting and mined, especially in spring when other fish do not bite or spawning bans are in effect.

For the sake of fishing, they take a light float fishing rod, with the usual rigging on the bleak consisting of fishing line, float and weight or without them, and a hook. As bait use insects, larvae, bread, dough and other nozzles. It is caught not only in the warm season, but also from the ice with winter tackles. Often a bleak cling to the back as live bait.

Spawning bleak

Upon reaching the age of two and a length of 10-13 cm, the bleak is able to multiply. It begins to spawn at the beginning of May and ends in July; terms of spawning may vary by region. Caviar spawns in 10-15 days.

On the spawning bleak can be found in more detail in this article.

The bleak fish meat is rather dry and contains about 12% fat. In gastronomic terms, it is not very attractive, with the exception of curing, the taranka turns out to be tasty and fatty.

Pretty tasty fried in sour cream or just with greens. Stews, canned, prepared from her "homemade sprats", added to the ear.

Nutrition and Lifestyle

Bleak is considered very voracious. Despite its small size, she spends most of her time in search of food. The bleak diet includes:

In the evenings, you can see the fish jumping out of the water. It changes direction very sharply and sometimes makes quick turns. The actions of the fish are aimed at spraying water with mosquitoes and midges. They fall into the water and become prey to the voracious bleak.

Individuals of this species gather in large flocks and swim near the surface. Almost all fishermen and lovers of water recreation noticed these fish. Bleak loves to hunt in places near bridges and piles. It can also be found near the sewers. Near the shore, this species swims in the shade of trees. But in the thickets of reeds can only be found young.

Bleak is considered a very active fish. She is constantly in motion.and, even at night. Before the storm and rain bleak becomes more active. Sometimes you can see how a flock of fish suddenly begins to move rapidly. This is due to the appearance of the hunter. Zherekh, perch and pike hunt for small fish. And also this species often becomes the prey of birds: the bleak forms the basis of the diet of gulls, ashes and terns.

Breeding reproduction features

The bleak population is constantly growing despite the fact that many fish eat it. This is due to the unprecedented fertility of individuals. It is known that females are ready for caviar throwing at the age of two years. Individuals older than 5 years can spawn several times in one season.

The spawning process begins only when the water is heated to 14 degrees. That is why in the rivers of the Rostov region the fish begins to spawn in early May. But in the Middle Volga the process does not begin until June. At first, females spawn, whose age has reached 5 years. The process stretches for 2 weeks. After this, spawning begins in young individuals. The main feature is that if conditions become unfavorable, for example, it rains cold, spawning can take place in several stages. Accordingly, large individuals may spawn several times during the summer.

For spawning, females choose quiet and calm places with an oozy bottom. Fish never spawn in reeds, as there are often predators hiding there. First, the fish goes along the coast, not jumping out of the water. After choosing the place, the fish begin to jump out of the water, trying to scatter eggs over a large area. It is attached to the stones and muddy bottom. At this moment, the fish is easy to catch, as it is very careless. The process of spawning is accompanied by a splash of water. After spawning, all banks and the bottom are covered with a layer of fertilized caviar.

It is known that bleak roe is very small, therefore a large number of fry appear. They hatch from larvae 10 days after spawning. Fry grow very quickly and in a year they grow to 6−9 centimeters.


In most countries bleak considered to be of low value. This is due to its small size. For dinner, the family need to catch a few dozen fish. Most often from it make a taranka. In the dried form, men eat it as a snack. To prepare you need to take the following ingredients:

  • 1 kilogram bleak,
  • 200 grams of salt
  • 1 liter of water.

It is necessary to prepare the brine. They poured fish for a day. After that, the carcass must be dried with paper towels. Fish are placed on hooks hung on a rope in cool, well-ventilated places.