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Tench - Tinca tinca

Aquatic Invasive Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNA
* (see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS:
BLM:


 

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State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
A conservation status rank is not applicable because this species is not a suitable target for conservation activities as a result of being exotic or introduced.
 
General Description
The tench is a large minnow species that looks like a cross between a smallmouth bass and a carp. This species was imported into North America from Germany by the U.S. Fish Commission in 1877 apparently for use as a food and sport fish (Baird 1879). This species has been caught on light angling tackle on lakes in the panhandle of Idaho (D. Stagliano, pers. comm.).

Diagnostic Characteristics
A large bodied, olive to brown colored fish with a barbel in the corner of its mouth and thick caudal peduncle. Total length to about 84 cm (35 inches) long while average length ~40 cm (16 inches).

Range Comments
Native Species Range: Most of Europe, including the British Isles, and parts of western Asia (Berg 1949).

Montana Range: Currently not known to occur in any waterbody in Montana.

Introduced Range Comments:
The tench has been documented as occurring in 38 states. Baughman (1947) indicated that this species was established in California, Colorado, Idaho, Washington, and apparently Oregon; he also quoted information of previously breeding populations in Maryland. In a more recent work, Page and Burr (1991) considered it established in California, Colorado, Connecticut, and Washington, and possibly Delaware, Maryland, and New York. Courtenay et al. (1991) believed it to be established in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, and Washington.


Migration
Not known to migrate long distances, most dispersal usually takes place when dams are breached, stock ponds flood or because of intentional releases into the nearby watersheds (Nico et al. 2017).

Habitat
The species usually occurs in lakes, but is also found in large, slow rivers, ponds and canals.

Food Habits
The diet consists mainly of aquatic insect larvae and molluscs (Scott and Crossman 1973). Moyle (2002) considered it a potential competitor for food with sport fishes and native cyprinids. In their discussion of tench introduced to Africa, de Moor and Bruton (1988) noted that the species is known to stir up bottom sediments, possibly affecting water quality, but not to the extent of common carp Cyprinus carpio.

Ecology
Moyle (2002) considered it a potential competitor for food with sport fishes and native cyprinids. In their discussion of tench introduced to Africa, de Moor and Bruton (1988) noted that during feeding this species is known to stir up bottom sediments, possibly affecting water quality, but not to the extent of common carp.

Reproductive Characteristics
Reproductive information has not been reviewed, but given it's traditional pond dwelling status, they likely produce eggs that adhere to aquatic vegetation or woody debris.

Management
Preventing the spread of this fish into Montana's western waterbodies from Idaho will likely be due to diligence in making sure no live fish are transported in live wells across state lines (i.e. bucket biology).

Threats or Limiting Factors
All of the established populations of tench were in areas of predicted high suitability for this species. Interestingly, many areas where tench failed to become established or is currently extirpated (e.g., Great Lakes region) also had a moderate to high predicted suitability. DeVaney et al. (2009) attributed this potentially to negative interactions with sunfishes or unmeasured environmental factors.

References
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Citation for data on this website:
Tench — Tinca tinca.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from