chapter  9
19 Pages

The curious world of Britain's freshwater fishes

WithMark Everard, Jack Perks

The world of freshwater fishes is full of extremes, oddities, fables and curiosities. All the more reason, then, to take better account of this much-neglected component of our island wildlife. Some interesting facts emerge when we think of the British freshwater fish ‘Book of Records’, or in other words some of the extremes of size, distribution and other facets of our fascinating freshwater fishy fauna. By contrast, the biggest freshwater fishes found today in British fresh waters are more modest, but no less impressive set in the geographical context of our small islands. Though freshwater fishes are found in other countries far closer to the North Pole than those in Britain, two species found in Britain may share the claim to be the world's most northerly freshwater fish. The three-spined stickleback is particularly hardy, adapted, for example, to take to sea during winters when rivers rise into intolerable spates or else freeze.