Tinca tinca


Tench are medium-sized, heavy, deep-bodied fish. They can be found in soft-bottomed lakes and in slow-flowing rivers with plenty of vegetation. They are quite shy fish, hiding amongst dense weed. Tench 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.

How to identify

Dark greeny-bronze in colour with blackish, rounded fins and sometimes with a golden-orange throat and belly.

Where to find it

Found throughout the lowlands, widespread in England but rarer in Wales and Scotland.

When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

To help to look after tench and other fish species, The Wildlife Trusts work with landowners, statutory bodies, water companies and other organisations to help manage river and wetland habitats sympathetically. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife happenings, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and be helping local wildlife along the way.

Species information

Common name
Latin name
Tinca tinca
Freshwater fish
Length: 40-70cm Weight: 1-2kg Average Lifespan: 12-15 years
Conservation status