Tench

Tench ©Jack Perks

Tench

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Scientific name: Tinca tinca
A handsome fish, the tench has olive-green flanks, powerful fins and distinctive red eyes. It can be found in lowland lakes and slow-flowing rivers around the UK.

Top facts

Stats

Length: 40-70cm
Weight: 3-6kg
Average Lifespan: 15 years

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

January to December

About

The tench is a medium-sized, heavy, deep-bodied fish. It can be found in soft-bottomed lakes and in slow-flowing rivers with plenty of vegetation. Tench are quite shy fish, hiding among dense weed. They feed on invertebrates, including pond snails and small pea mussels. Spawning in summer, males chase females, fertilising the eggs as soon as she has laid them in shallow beds of algae or vegetation.

What to look for

The tench is dark greeny-bronze in colour, with blackish, rounded fins, a deep tail, red eyes and, in some instances, a golden-orange throat and belly.

Where to find

Widespread in lowland England, but rarer in Wales and Scotland.

Did you know?

Also known as the 'Doctor Fish', the tench was thought to possess healing properties because it had been observed rubbing against other fish - behaviour thought to heal wounded fish and cure parasites and disease. This led to people boiling tench 'slime' (mucus that covers their body) to use as a medicine.