Common Bream

Abramis bramaThis is a valuable commercial species with a better rate of distribution within the genus – a major commercial fish of the Pskov-PeipsiLake.

The bream prefers sluggish warm water on sandy ooze or loamy soil, hence its commonality in river reaches and lakes. Its coloration varies with age, ground and water color. The young ones are gray silvery, getting darker and gaining a golden tinge with age. In peaty lakes breams are brownish. All of their fins are gray, and the anal one has 23-30 branched rays. They grow up to 45 cm, weigh 2.5-3 kilos, and live up to 20 years, though shorter on average. In lakes and reservoirs of the north the bream matures in year 5-8, being at least 30 cm long, although the bulrush morph matures 3 years of age and 12-15 cm long. Their spawning begins with water temperatures of 12-16°С in late April or May in the south, and in late May or June in the north. Males mature prior to females, and the smaller specimens at the spawning sites are male as a rule. Besides, they are easy to tell by the well-pronounced pearly rash on the head and flanks. Their spawning is accompanied by noisy splashing in the shallow in the thickets of aquatic or flooded meadow plants, usually early in the morning. They leap out of the water and fall back flat, so the noise of spawning breams can be heard from afar. This plopping sound served source to most common names of the fish in Slavic languages. Spawning starts and ends collectively, usually lasting one day – from morning till noon. On average, females lay 100-150 thousand eggs gluing them to plants. In 3-6 days fry hatch. The first two days they keep calm, attached to water plants, then they start feeding intensively – first on zooplankton, and after they grow 30 mm long the young turn on to benthic invertebrates.

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