Monday, 21 July 2014

Fairham Fishes

I decided to go down my local patch for a look at some of the smaller fish living in the river which often get over looked by people in favour of the larger ones such as pike or chub. They are a integral part of the ecosystem and feed many species of wildlife such as kingfishers who gladly gulp down thee minnows!






This is a bullhead or millers thumb (so called as its resemblance to a millers thumb) they are bottom dwelling fish looking a bit like a goby. They spend all their lives under rocks and come out at night to feed and can be quite aggressive predators takings anything that fits into its mouth! Despite this they are caring parents and guard the eggs until they hatch.


One of my favourite fish the humble gudgeon, like miniature barbel they filter the riverbed looking for food and like all small fish are a good indicator of clean water. Some fisheries have started stocking gudgeon as they have the habit of feeding on parasites of larger fish like leeches and lice.


It may look like a cross between the previous two fish but the stone loach is a stunning addition to any river system, like the bullhead they often hide in the day under rocks and come out at night. Females can lay up to 10,000 eggs in spring and prefer fast cleaning flowing rivers while its rare cousin the spined loach likes muddier slow flowing rivers.

video

I did manage to film a slightly bigger fish also while down at the river.

BBC Wildlife Local Patch Reporter
Jack Perks

@JackPerksPhoto
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