Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Title Page, Copyright Page

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 3-4

read more

Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 5-9

Fish comprise a diverse group of some 32,000 species of limbless vertebrates and are found in aquatic habitats around the world, ranging from upland lakes and rivers to deep oceans. Most fish, and certainly all of the freshwater fishes of Britain and Ireland, are ‘cold-blooded’ (technically known as ‘ectothermic’), ...

read more

Life-cycles of British freshwater fishes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 10-11

All species of British freshwater fish are egg-layers, although this is by no means true for all of the world’s fishes. The time of year at which eggs are laid and the spawning strategy vary between fish species and families. ...

read more

Habitats for freshwater fishes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 12-21

Freshwater fishes inhabit a wide range of aquatic habitats from flowing to standing water, fresh to brackish, deep to shallow, and open to well-vegetated. Some species are resilient and hardy enough to survive in virtually any watercourse or water body ...

read more

How to identify fishes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 22-25

The key to learning how to identify any group of animals or plants is first to gain a good appreciation of the commoner species. This holds true for freshwater fishes and the key features to look for are summarized in this section. ...

read more

The types of fishes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 26-41

This section provides an introduction to the types of fishes that are native or have been introduced into British and Irish fresh waters. The 53 species concerned include representatives from 21 families, including a number that are not truly freshwater residents but can be found in estuaries and lower reaches of rivers, mainly during summer months. ...

Glossary and technical terms

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 42-49

read more

Salmon watching

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 50

An Atlantic Salmon leaping upstream is an amazing sight. It can be observed during peak migration periods, typically in rising river conditions during late autumn or early winter, where fish encounter obstacles to their upstream progress, such as weirs. ...

read more

The Species Accounts: Introduction to the species accounts

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 51

The species accounts in this book are grouped by family, and arranged as far as possible so that species that appear similar are grouped together. This means that the order of species is not strictly taxonomic (a summary of this order is given in the Contents pages at the beginning of the book). ...

read more

Carp and minnow family (Cyprinidae)

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 52-79

The Cyprinidae, also known as cyprinids, is the largest family of freshwater fish globally, with over 2,400 species in about 220 genera across North America, Africa and Eurasia. The cyprinids lack stomachs and have toothless jaws, though hard food items are crushed with pharyngeal (throat) teeth formed from modified gill rakers, which can also be used by specialists to identify species. ...

read more

Salmon, trout, charr, freshwater whitefish and grayling family (Salmonidae)

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 80-93

The salmonid fishes are slender and streamlined in outline, with pelvic (ventral) fins set far back on the underside and a fleshy adipose fin towards the rear of the back. The scales are conspicuous and the tail is forked. Salmonid mouths contain a single row of sharp teeth. Although the adult life-phase of some salmonids, including the Atlantic Salmon, can be marine, all salmonids spawn in fresh water. ...

read more

Pike family (Esocidae)

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 94-95

The family Esocidae comprises five species of predatory fishes, all within the single genus Esox, that inhabit the cooler, fresh waters of Eurasia and North America, although some species may enter brackish waters. They have duckbill-like snouts armed with strong teeth. The tail (caudal) fin is forked. The body is covered by small, circular scales. ...

read more

Perch family (Percidae)

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 96-100

The family Percidae comprises 159 species of largely freshwater fishes across the northern hemisphere, although some occur in estuaries. There are two dorsal fins, which may be separate or narrowly joined, the anterior is generally strongly spined. ...

read more

Sheatfish catfish family (Siluridae)

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 100-101

The family Siluridae comprises 100 species of freshwater fishes found across Europe and Asia, although some may enter brackish water. Some species can grow very large, including the Wels Catfish, which is the only member of the family to have become established in the British Isles. ...

read more

North American freshwater catfish family (Ictaluridae)

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 102

The Ictaluridae family comprises 45 species distributed from southern Canada to Guatemala. One species, the Black Bullhead, has become established in Continental Europe, including in the British Isles, although there is no evidence that it is breeding in British waters. ...

read more

Sunfish family (Centrarchidae)

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 103

The family Centrarchidae comprises 27 species of fishes from the fresh waters of North America. The front and rear dorsal fins may be joined or separate, the front fin supported by strong spines. Most sunfish build nests, and some are valued as sport fish or as experimental subjects. ...

read more

River loach (or hillstream loach) family (Balitoridae)

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 104-105

The Balitoridae is a Eurasian family of about 500 species of fishes that possess elongated bodies with inferior (downward-pointing) mouths surrounded by at least three pairs of barbels. The pelvic (ventral) fins are either separate or fused underneath the belly. These are largely river fishes, some of which are popular in the aquarium trade. ...

read more

Loach family (Cobitidae)

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 105-106

The Cobitidae family, which has many similarities with the river loach (or hillstream loach) family (Balitoridae), comprises 100 species of fishes with a spindle- or worm-like body form inhabiting fresh waters across Eurasia and into Morocco. They are bottom-dwelling with a small, inferior (downward-pointing) mouth surrounded by three to six pairs of barbels. Members of this family possess a characteristic erectile spine beneath the eye. ...

read more

Sculpin family (Cottidae)

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 106-107

The family Cottidae comprises 300 freshwater, brackish and marine species found across the northern hemisphere and near New Zealand. The body often appears scaleless, although scales or prickles are also commonly found. The eyes are set high on the head. These are bottom-dwelling fishes, lacking a swim bladder, at least in adult fish. Members of the Cottidae family guard their eggs. ...

read more

Sturgeon family (Acipenseridae)

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 108-109

The 23 species within the family Acipenseridae are large fishes of cold to temperate fresh, brackish and marine waters in the Northern Hemisphere. They are anadromous, inhabiting marine waters and breeding in running fresh waters. The body is elongated and has five rows of large armoured scales (scutes) along the sides. ...

read more

Hake and burbot family (Lotidae)

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 109-110

The cod-like family Lotidae comprises 21 mainly marine fishes. They possess between one and three dorsal fins, a single anal fin and a chin barbel, and the caudal (tail) fin is rounded. The Burbot is the only freshwater member of the family, and occurs in the northern parts of Eurasia and North America. ...

read more

Herring, shad, sardine and menhaden family (Clupeidae)

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 111-113

The family Clupeidae has a global, mainly tropical distribution in fresh, brackish and marine waters from latitudes of 70°N to about 60°S. The 216 species are mostly marine and coastal schooling fishes, with some freshwater and anadromous (running rivers from the sea to spawn) species. ...

read more

Stickleback and tubesnout family (Gasterosteidae)

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 114-116

The seven species within the family Gasterosteidae are small fishes found in fresh, brackish and marine waters of the northern hemisphere. Their bodies are generally elongated and either lack scales or are covered by scutes (large bony scales) along the sides. The mouth is usually small, located at the end of a narrow, tapering snout, and there are no barbels. ...

read more

Freshwater eel family (Anguillidae)

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 117-118

The family Anguillidae comprises 15 species of long-bodied freshwater, marine and brackish water fishes in both tropical and temperate regions. The snake-like body is covered in minute scales, appearing scaleless, and is coated in thick slime, making eels slippery and hard to pick up. The dorsal (back) fin is contiguous with the caudal (tail) and anal fins. ...

read more

Lamprey family (Petromyzontidae)

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 119-123

The family Petromyzontidae comprises some 41 species of parasitic or non-parasitic, eel-like fishes across the world’s temperate zones. Technically, the lampreys are not fish at all, since they lack jaws and possess only a cartilaginous skeleton. They also lack scales and paired fins. ...

read more

Marine visitors

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 124

Whilst not true freshwater fishes, a number of marine fishes enter estuaries and move further up rivers into fresh waters, particularly during the summer months. These ‘marine visitor’ species are considered briefly in this section, including three species of mullet, the European Seabass, the Flounder, the Smelt and the Sand-smelt. ...

read more

Silversides family (Atherinidae)

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 124

The family Atherinidae comprises 165 species found in fresh, brackish and marine waters in both tropical and temperate waters. The Sand-smelt, also known as the Little Sand Smelt, is a shoaling species of inshore and coastal marine waters. It also favours estuaries and can penetrate the lower reaches of rivers. ...

read more

Smelt family (Osmeridae)

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 125

The family Osmeridae comprises 13 species of freshwater, brackish and marine fishes, with maxillary and premaxillary teeth and an adipose fin between the dorsal fin and the tail. They are found across the Northern Hemisphere in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. ...

read more

Righteye flounder family (Pleuronectidae)

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 126

The family Pleuronectidae comprises 93 species of predominantly marine flatfish spread across the Arctic, Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. The Flounder is a common species around Britain’s shores and is the only species of British flatfish that enters fresh waters. ...

read more

Temperate bass family (Moronidae)

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 127

The family Moronidae comprises six species of bass found in coastal areas from Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico drainages of North America to those of Europe and northern Africa. Only one species occurs commonly in waters around the British Isles. ...

read more

Mullet family (Mugilidae)

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 128-129

The mullets comprise 72 species of predominantly marine and estuarine fishes. They possess two dorsal fins: one that is short and supported by four stout spines; and the other that is soft and well separated. The pectoral fins are situated high on the flanks. Even when present, the lateral line is barely visible. ...

read more

Fishy fantasies

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 130-131

In the species account for Brown Trout (see page 84), reference was made to the fact that this variable species was formerly thought to have been many different species, including the sea-going Sea Trout and the Ferox – the deep-water piscivore with fearsome jaws. However, in the Reverend W. Houghton’s classic 1879 book British Fresh-Water Fishes, ...

read more

Conservation and legislation

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 132-138

Many of the freshwater fishes of Britain and Ireland are the subject of nature conservation concern. For some, such as Arctic Charr and Atlantic Salmon, declining populations demand management action. Other non-native species, such as Topmouth Gudgeon and Black Bullhead, pose a threat to native species and ecosystems, ...

Further reading and useful contacts

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 139

Acknowledgements and photographic credits

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 140-142

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 142-144