Tench - Tinca tinca, click for a larger image
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Tench - Tinca tinca

Originates from and found over most of Europe in stagnant and slow flowing water with plenty of weed.  Usually olive or tawny green in colour with shade variations from dark to light, a specifically bred golden colour also exists.  Length up to 50cm (19in) and weighing 5kg (11lbs) but large specimens usually only found in deeper waters, males ♂ have larger ventral fins than females ♀, and in both the fins are thick and fleshy.  Tench have bright orange eyes, small scales and skin slimy to the touch.  Spawns May to July laying about 300,000 eggs which adhere to aquatic plants.  Tench become adult after about two years, they have a nocturnal habit feeding, at the bottom on water bugs, insects and vegetation, stirring up mud and detritus in the process.

An introduced species to many other countries in the late 1800's and early 1900's, regarded in some as a pest species, especially Canada where it has been reported found in the Quebec region in 1999, it adapts easily to local conditions even if unfavourable.  Imported into New Zealand in 1867 as a sports fish where some northern lakes have gained a reputation for fish size amongst anglers who prefer fishing for coarse fish.  Imported into North America from Germany by the U.S. Fish Commission in 1877 apparently for use as a food and sport fish.  A British record Tench, apparently caught in a Middlesex gravel pit in 1987, weighed just over 6.4 kg (14 lb).

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