Orfe (Leuciscus idus)

The golden orfe is a cultivated variety of ide specially bred for its colour, which ranges from pale yellow to a deep reddish orange all over. There is also an ornamental blue.The orfe looks rather like a cross between a chub and a roach, with maybe a bit of dace thrown in.It has a curved blue-green back, silver sides and a white belly. The ide’s tail and dorsal fin are grey while the other fins are pink and concave. The dorsal fin starts behind the pelvic fin.The best method of identification is to count the scales along the lateral line; ide have 55-61, roach and chub 42-46. The mouth of all three forms is small and slightly upturned - ideal for surface feeding on a variety of different types of insects and crustaceans.


The golden orfe has been quite widely stocked in British lakes and ponds where it is popular as an ornamental fish - a lot of ‘goldfish’ are really orfe.The Orfe or ide is mainly found in waters throughout europe.

Feeding habits

Orfe feed on planktonic animals, but as they grow older they start to eat insects, crustaceans and molluscs - larger specimens also eat small fish.

Fish facts

Weight: Up to 4.5kg (10lb).
Average Length: 30 - 40cm (12-16in)
Life-span: 12-15 years
Favourite waters: Orfe are found in still waters and the lower reaches of rivers They prefer weedy areas of moderate depth such as the edges of reed-beds.
Favourite baits: bread, worms, sweetcorn, maggots and casters.
UK Record: 8lbs 5oz (M Wilkinson 2000)