Dace (Leuciscus leuciscus)
Dace are slim bodied with a relatively small head and mouth. The body is fully scaled, the lateral line curving downwards following the outline of the belly, with 48-51 pored scales. The origin of the dorsal fin is directly above the pelvics. Anal fin short based, with 8-9 branched rays, outline concave.
Dace coloration, greenish-olive on the back, the sides conspicuously silvery, whitish below. Dorsal and tail fins greyish, pectoral, pelvic and anal fins yellow to pale orange. Iris of the eye yellowish.
Typically found in middle reaches of rivers and upstream brooks. Dace are usually found in moderately clean running water, but, being adaptable, can be found in slow flowing lowland rivers.
Dace eat insects, both flying and in their larval aquatic stages, takes large numbers of small arthropods which fall into the water from bankside trees and vegitation.
Spawns early in the spring, usually in shallow water. The eggs are small, pale orange and drop between the stones in the gravel. They take up to 25 days to hatch.
The average size is about 6-8 oz, can be caught in large numbers. The current UK dace record is 1lb 4oz.