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The bitterling (Rhodeus sericeus) has established itself in a number of ponds, small lakes and canals in the UK. Read more about this non-native fish.

Bitterling, courtesy of Jack Perks Bitterling, courtesy of Jack Perks
"Location is more of a key than tactics when it comes to catching bitterling." Carl Nicholls, fisheries & angling manager

Appearance: bitterling have a deep laterally compressed body with bright silver and indescent light purple sides. They have a long bright orange dorsal fin and bright orange dorsal and anal fins. The pectoral and pelvic fins are usually white. Eyes are golden red and large and the mouth is slightly up-turned.

British record: 12dms (British Record Fish Committee January 2015)

Lateral Line: incomplete lateral line. A scale count of 32 -38 along its flank.

Lifespan: 5 to 6 years

An introduced fish native to Central and Eastern Europe. It is an extremely popular garden pond and aquarium fish. It has established itself in a number of ponds, small lakes and canals in the UK. This is small fish, typically 6cm in length and has a remarkable breeding system. The female lays her eggs through an ovipositor tube into freshwater mussels, which protect the eggs from predators.

How to catch a bitterling

A small fish requiring light float tackle and small hooks and baits. Location is more of a key than tactics when it comes to catching bitterling.

Where to catch a bitterling

The bitterling has been present in the Llangollen Canal for decades. It appears to have little impact on native fish stocks.

Last date edited: 18 September 2015