Dace ©Jack Perks


Scientific name: Leuciscus leuciscus
The silvery dace can be seen gathering in large shoals in lowland rivers and streams. It is a member of the carp family and looks very similar to the chub, but is smaller.

Species information


Length: 15-25cm
Weight: up to 1.3kg
Average Lifespan: 8-16 years

Conservation status


When to see

January to December


A small to medium-sized, lively fish, the dace is a member of the carp family. Found in rivers and streams, it often gathers in large shoals in shady areas. It 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; they produce up to 9,500 eggs.

How to identify

The dace is a slender fish, with a silvery body and brownish fins. It is more slender than the roach and smaller than the chub, with duller fins.


Widespread in lowland England, but rarer in Wales and Scotland.

Did you know?

While typically a freshwater fish, the dace also enters brackish water.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts work with planners, water companies, landowners, statutory bodies and anglers to help make our waterways and waterbodies as good for wildlife as they are for people. By working together, we can create Living Landscapes: networks of habitats stretching across town and country that allow wildlife to move about freely and people to enjoy the benefits of nature. Support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.