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These small fish are only found in clean, stony waters and around the brick work at canal locks. Read more about the Bullhead (Cottus gobio).

Bullhead, courtesy of Jack Perks


  • Listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species
  • Listed on Annex II of the European Commission Habitats Directive (3)
  • Special Area of Conservation (SAC) Annex II species at a number of sites
Bullhead, courtesy of Jack Perks

They are quite unusual as they build a small nest of stones and lay their yellow eggs on the underneath of the stones.

Appearance: They are very distinctive, being sandy brown in colour with dark spotting on the large pectoral fins which can look like strips. They have a large, flattened head and big eyes positioned on the top of the head.

British record: 1oz 0dms (British record committee 2015)

Lateral line scale count: no scales but 33-35 pores

Lifespan: 3 to 5 years


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Last Edited: 24 December 2020

photo of a location on the canals
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