Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; brackish; benthopelagic; anadromous (Ref. 51243). Subtropical; 10°C - 20°C (Ref. 2059); 64°N - 35°N, 12°E - 53°E
Eurasia: Caspian, Black, Marmara and Baltic Sea basins (Sweden and Finland north to 63°N), North Sea basin from Elbe to Ems drainages. In Anatolia: in Marmara basin, south to Great Menderes and Lake Egridir and east to Kızılırmak drainage. Absent between Kızılırmak and Çoruh drainages. Extirpated in Crimea. Introduced in Rhine.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 50.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 556); common length : 20.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 556); max. published weight: 1.4 kg (Ref. 35541); max. reported age: 15 years (Ref. 59043)
soft rays: 16 - 22. Diagnosed from its congeners in Europe by the following characters: anal fin with 16-21½ branched rays; back keeled behind dorsal base; in spawning season, males blackish brown with orange cheek and sometimes belly (Ref. 59043). Caudal fin with 19 soft rays. Scalar formula: 49-64, 6-10 (Ref. 40476).
Inhabits brackish estuaries, large to medium rivers and some large subalpine lakes. Sedentary populations inhabit even in small rivers or barbel zone. Feeds mainly on small molluscs and insect larvae. Breeds in riffles in shallow, fast-flowing streams and rivers on gravel. Semi-anadromous populations forage in freshened parts of sea and migrate for long distances to spawn. Lacustrine populations move to fast-flowing tributaries. Spent adults return to foraging habitats (Ref. 59043). Threatened from its range due to water obstruction (Ref. 26100).
Produces 15,000-20,000 eggs at the age of 6-7 years (Ref. 12259). Spawns for several years. Semi-anadromous populations undertake long distance spawning migrations while lacustrine populations migrate to fast-flowing tributaries. In Dniepr and Kuban, migration starts in September, decreases in winter and resumes in March-May (Ref. 59043).
Kottelat, M. and J. Freyhof, 2007. Handbook of European freshwater fishes. Publications Kottelat, Cornol and Freyhof, Berlin. 646 pp. (Ref. 59043)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 126983)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804
= 0.5625 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00759 (0.00684 - 0.00841), b=3.12 (3.09 - 3.15), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.3 ±0.1 se; based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (K=0.22; tm=3; tmax=15).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate vulnerability (37 of 100).