Bleak (Alburnus alburnus)

You can recognize a bleak by its slender, narrow, silvery body, steely blue-green back and large eyes. The delicate scales are covered in crystals of guanine, a pearl-like chemical found in animal tissue - in fact, in the 19th century bleak scales were collected to make artificial pearls. The fish has a relatively large mouth and a protruding lower jaw, a sure sign of a surface feeder. Its jaw line distinguishes it from roach and dace

Habitat

Bleak are Usually found in the company of roach and dace, the bleak lives mainly in rivers with a smooth but steady flow, but it is also found in still waters flooded by rivers (in lakes by the Thames and Trent in particular). The fish particularly favours the slack water round the mouths of lock cuttings at times of flooding and fast flow.

Feeding habits

Adult bleak feed on anything and everthing and are generally seen as a pest by anglers awaiting larger fish.Bleak however are an important food source for such predetors as pike and birds such as herons and kingfishers.

Fish facts

Weight: Up to (4oz)
Average Length: Average 10cm
Life-span: Unknown
Favourite waters: mainly in rivers with a smooth but steady flow, but it is also found in still waters and canals
Favourite baits: Maggotts,casters
UK Record: 4oz 9drms (D Flack 1998)