Leuciscus leuciscus


A small to medium-sized, lively fish, the dace is a member of the carp family. Found in rivers and streams, where it often gathers in large shoals in shady areas, the dace is omnivorous, feeding on invertebrates, fish eggs, plants and seeds. Spawning takes place in April when the females move upstream to join the males in shallow water and produce up to 9,500 eggs.

How to identify

The dace is a slender member of the carp family. It is silvery in colour with brownish fins. Smaller than the chub with duller fins and more slender than the roach.

Where to find it

Found throughout the lowlands, widespread in England but rarer in Wales and Scotland.

When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

To help to look after dace and other fish species, The Wildlife Trusts work with landowners, statutory bodies, water companies and other organisations to help manage river and wetland habitats sympathetically. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife happenings, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and be helping local wildlife along the way.

Species information

Common name
Latin name
Leuciscus leuciscus
Freshwater fish
Length: 15-25cm Weight: up to 1kg Average Lifespan: 8-16 years
Conservation status