Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; brackish; benthopelagic; pH range: 7.0 - 7.5; dH range: 10 - 15; potamodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 15 - ? m (Ref. 5732). Temperate; 4°C - 20°C (Ref. 1672); 73°N - 37°N, 7°E - 136°E
Europe and Asia: Baltic, Black, northern Caspian and North Sea basins, Atlantic basin southward to Seine and lower Loire drainages (France). Absent in Scandinavia north of 69°N. In Asia, eastward to Lena drainage and Aral basin. Introduced to Great Britain and northern Italy (Ref. 59043). Transported to several countries in Europe and the United States for ornament (Ref. 4537).
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 85.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 59043); common length : 30.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 556); max. published weight: 4.0 kg (Ref. 556); max. reported age: 29 years (Ref. 126842)
soft rays: 8 - 11;
Vertebrae: 47. Diagnosed from congeners in Europe by the following characters: lateral line with 56-58 + 3 scales; pharyngeal teeth 3,5-5,3; mouth terminal; dorsal fin with 8½ branched rays; anal fin with 10-11½ branched rays; all fins except dorsal fin with reddish tinge; pigmentation on lateral scales lacking regular black mesh (Ref. 59043). Caudal fin with 19 rays (Ref. 2196).
Usually inhabits large lowland rivers and nutrient-rich lakes. Adults are solitary while juveniles are gregarious. Undertakes migration to tributaries to spawn in moderate current on gravel or submerged vegetation. Feeds on various aquatic and terrestrial animals and plant material. Larger individuals feed mainly on fishes. Feeding larvae and juveniles thrive in a wide variety of shoreline habitats and leave the shores for deeper waters when growing. Reported to sometimes hybridizes with Aspius aspius (Ref. 59043). Its flesh is not tasty (Ref. 30578). Aquarium keeping: at least 10 individuals; minimum aquarium size >200 cm; not recommended for home aquariums (Ref. 51539).
"Females spawn only once each season. Individual females spawn with several males. Males assemble at spawning grounds and follow ripe females. Females attach the sticky eggs to gravel or submerged plant material" (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: commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: commercial
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00741 (0.00570 - 0.00965), b=3.12 (3.09 - 3.15), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.8 ±0.59 se; based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (tm=5-9).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High to very high vulnerability (69 of 100).
Nutrients (Ref. 124155
): Calcium = 63.1 [29.0, 124.9] mg/100g ; Iron = 0.636 [0.374, 1.054] mg/100g ; Protein = 19.5 [17.9, 21.2] % ; Omega3 = 0.66 [0.33, 1.31] g/100g ; Selenium = 11.7 [6.0, 22.7] μg/100g ; VitaminA = 23.2 [7.9, 69.8] μg/100g ; Zinc = 0.683 [0.480, 0.980] mg/100g (wet weight); based on nutrient studies.