Vobla - A close relative of roach. Outwardly, it is extremely difficult to distinguish them. It is necessary to know exactly several important features of the species. Otherwise, you won’t be able to find out. Vobla is one of the most common fish among fishermen (both amateurs and professionals). Due to the fact that this popular fishing facility has been so actively caught in recent years, the number is rapidly declining.
Origin of view and description
Vobla belongs to the family of Karpov, ray-feathers. Outwardly very similar to roach fish. According to some reports, it is sometimes even referred to as roach, simply distinguishing it as a variety of that species. In fact, this is an independent species, which has important distinctive features that allow identification of roach.
Vobla got its name in Russia because of its rounded shape. By the way, in those days, many people called her in common people "rabies." The reason was her very active behavior. When males and females roam for spawning at the mouths of rivers, it is simply impossible to keep up with them. Therefore, their behavior is really unlike other fish - too actively they break through other schools of fish to their goal.
The length of an adult roach is about 30 cm, and its weight is up to 0.2 kg. Larger individuals are also found. The main distinctive feature of the roach is the V-shaped caudal fin and the reddish ebb of the scales.
Now in the Caspian Sea it is customary to distinguish 3 main herds of roach:
- North Caspian;
These fish have no special external differences among themselves. The only thing that distinguishes them is their habitat (both in the sea and in relation to the rivers into which they enter).
In total, vobla lives about 10 years. during this time she spawns 5-6 times. Each time she lays up to 30 thousand small eggs. After that, the body of the fish loses so much weight that it looks twice as thin as the head.
Interesting fact: Frederick the Great was the first to rate roach as a beer snack. Since that time, roach is considered ideal in this matter and has become a real symbol of a beer snack.
Appearance and features
Photo: What does a vobla look like?
Since roach and roach are often confused, their important difference should be clarified immediately: roach is much larger. The length of the adult is 30-40 cm, and the weight is 0.6-0.7 kg, although some can reach 1 kg. The body of the fish is flattened, but the sides remain outstanding. A small hump is clearly visible on the back of the roach, but the back of the roach is absolutely even. The scale is small and very tightly attached to the body.
Above, the color of the scales is very dark, resembles black. But down she gradually begins to give more and more silver tint. The head of a roach is small, its mouth is also set low. The iris of a wobble's eye is silver or orange. Clearly visible black dots are marked above the pupil.
All vobla fins are large, well distinguishable. Caudal fin in the form of a Latin letter V, divided into 2 equal parts. Unlike other similar fish, in the roach, the caudal fin seems to be slightly twisted.
All vobla fins have a slight red tint and a dark edging on the edge. Anal fin is quite long. All this distinguishes roach from roach, with which it is often confused. If you know all the subtleties, then you can easily distinguish the roach. That is, although it is a close relative of roach, it will not be difficult to distinguish them from each other, knowing a few simple rules.
Interesting fact: The largest roach that has been registered has a weight of 850 grams.
Where does the roach live?
Photo: Vobla in the water
Vobla is river and sea. Depending on the type, the habitat of the fish will also differ. It also differs based on the season. When fishing for spawning, the vobla gathers closer to the shore of the Caspian Sea. By the way, it is also called semi-aisle.
The river (residential) all the time lives in one place. But when it spawns, it goes to the very depths, where it is covered with mucus, which reliably protects from hypothermia. It is easy to distinguish the sea one - it is larger than the river one and reaches 40 cm (and 1 kg).
Towards the end of February, sea roach begins to gather in large flocks and gradually migrate to the mouth of the river, which is closest to their habitat. The signal to the beginning of migration is the heating of water to more than 8 degrees heat.
To lay eggs, roach selects a densely overgrown place. It can be reeds or any other plants. In the summer, the roach begins to actively prepare for the coming winter, increasing fat. As a rule, at this time it plunges to a depth of not more than 5 meters.
The roach prefers to winter as close to the shore as possible. To do this, the fish chooses deep holes that are guaranteed not to freeze even in the most severe frosts. There, the roach is covered with a thick and thick layer of mucus, reliably protecting it from hypothermia. There she spends the whole winter, being in a state between sleep and wakefulness. At the same time, the fish eats nothing all winter.
Interesting fact: About 30 years ago (at the end of the 80s), a vobla on average weighed about 180 grams, and now this figure has dropped to 140 grams.
Now you know where the roach is found. Let’s see what she eats.
What does vobla eat?
Photo: Vobla fish
The northern part of the Caspian Sea is an ideal habitat for roach. In addition to not too significant depths, there is also a sufficient amount of food for roach. The roach feeds heterotrophically. It is an animal-eating fish that also feeds on invertebrates that move little.
Worms, crustaceans, and mollusks are the favorite food of roach. It is this type of nutrition that contributes to faster growth, as well as an increase in the amount of body fat. Thus, saturated food for wobble is much preferable in anticipation of cold weather.
But sometimes she can also sit on a plant-based diet. If living conditions compel, it may well feed on algae to support life. In total, on average, 40 different components can be distinguished in the nutrition of vobla.
If the conditions are especially harsh, then in extreme cases it can feed on fry of other fish, but this is extremely rare in nature. In the rivers, the young vobla especially competes for food with babies of bream and carp, as they also prefer cyclops, daphnia, rotifers.
According to many, the roach is an omnivorous fish. The diet really includes many different products, but when there is a choice, the roach will always prefer animal food to vegetable. Without the latter, she can do without any harm at all.
Features of character and lifestyle
Photo: Vobla in Russia
Vobla prefer to live in large schools. But during the migration process, they often have to adjoin the schools of larger fish, such as bream. This will help save you from pike or zander. In addition to safety, such a neighborhood is also beneficial - the roach can eat what leaves the bream at the bottom. Summer and autumn roach completely located in the sea. There she actively eats to gain the proper amount of fat before wintering.
Although in general the habits of the roach and its behavior are quite logical and constant, it is still impossible to accurately guess the route along the river. The reason is that it mostly depends on the temperature of the water, the intensity of the flow and depth. It is for this reason that sometimes certain difficulties arise when fishermen want to determine the spawning grounds of roach. But if you observe for several years, you can note a certain tendency of migration of schools of roach.
If an individual does not reach the age of puberty or this year does not spawn, then it does not leave its habitat and does not enter river beds, remaining in the sea all year. Vobla goes to riverbeds exclusively for spawning.
An interesting fact: the Azov ram, like the Siberian roach, is also sometimes called a roach. It is not right! In fact, roach is found exclusively in the Caspian Sea.
Social structure and reproduction
The mating season for wobbles begins as soon as warming sets in, that is, in spring. The end of April is the best time. Sexually mature vobla participate in this. As such, they become closer to 2 years of life, when approximately reach 8 cm in length. In order for the female to be able to tolerate more caviar, she must be larger. That is why males begin to participate in the mating season a year earlier than females. In the future, the female may miss 1-2 years, but the male participates in mating games annually.
When a fish is about to spawn, it stops eating. Gradually, her body is becoming thinner. Energy is completely taken from fat stores. A roach will start eating normally only when the mating season is over. Females are sent off earlier, but in the future males will catch up with them and overtake them very soon, therefore they will be at the target sooner. Females lay eggs, after which they are sent back to the sea as soon as possible. This is necessary in order to quickly restore strength and spent fat. At this time, the males fertilize the eggs and also come back.
During the spawning period, roach especially changes outwardly. This happens in 2 stages. At the beginning of the mating season, the roach is covered with a kind of silvery mucus, to be more remarkable. Bumps appear on the head at this time, and prickly growths appear on the scales. Active weight loss leads to the fact that at the end of spawning the head is so large that it stands out in a significant way against the background of the body. Caviar size does not exceed a millimeter. In the early days, it begins to grow actively. In a week, larvae hatch, which very soon become fry and go to sea with their parents. There they will ripen, gain weight until puberty.
Interesting fact: Vobla, when it is only brought ashore, begins to secrete a special substance, which many consider to smell like acidified beer.
Natural enemies of the roach
Photo: Vobla fish
Wobble, like any other creature in nature, has a lot of dangers at every step. One of the main dangers for fish today is man. It is because of it that the number of many fish and animals is significantly reduced, and the natural balance is disturbed.
If we talk about other dangers, then vobla, like other small fish, predators lurk in the water. Vobla can easily become the object of catching medium or large fish. The fish is most susceptible to attacks during the spawning season. When she enters the mouth of the river in large shoals, animals who go straight into the water and easily catch the females there are not averse to eating for her, receiving additional eggs immediately.
To escape from the attackers, the roach often adjoins the schools of other fish. Although there are less dangers of this kind in the sea, there is no less threat there - gulls. They snatch fish directly from the water, so it’s very difficult to escape.
Another problem for roach is parasites. The inhabitants of exclusively sea waters practically do not have them, but those who go into the rivers, this is often a phenomenon. Worms, larvae - they affect various organs of the fish, significantly worsening the quality of its life. Such fish in the future also become dangerous for humans. To use the catch in food, it is important to subject it to thorough heat treatment. Otherwise, the fish is dangerous to the owner.
Although it is often possible to find a mention that fish are threatened due to the fishing of people, which is activated during spawning, in fact, the problems of the roach from nature itself are much greater. In spring, winds and rains are very strong. This leads to the spill of rivers. Further, the vobla, entering such shallows, does not have time to return to deeper areas, but the water leaves quickly. As a result, the fish simply remains on land and becomes easy prey for animals passing by.
In addition, sometimes the roach itself is simply thrown onto land. This is due to the fact that in shallow water there is simply not enough room for such large flocks and then some individuals simply do not have anything else left.
Population and species status
Photo: What does a vobla look like?
Since ancient times, fishing has been especially common among all nationalities. It should be borne in mind that at that time there were not as many opportunities as there are now: the lack of a sufficient amount of equipment of the proper level, the high crime rate - all this did not contribute to frequent trips to the sea over long distances. Against the backdrop of all this, those fish species that could be caught without difficulty without making long trips were especially valued. Because of this, roach has become appreciated - a universal fish in all senses, which was not difficult to catch. Sometimes no labor was required - the roach often just throws itself ashore and it remains only to collect it.
Time passed and gradually special attention vobla attracted industrialists working in this field. Most often, fish were caught by nets, going a short distance to the sea or taking advantage of the moment when the fish goes to spawn. Vobla was always caught together with herring. But the last one went to the rivers earlier, therefore the hunt for it began earlier. Caviar is usually sold separately. It is separated from the carcass of the fish and closed in a jar. The carcasses themselves supply 100-300 thousand each. The emphasis is on preparing the fish for long-term storage. That is why canned food, smoking, drying are so popular. More recently, the number of roach was so great that it was not difficult to catch it in any quantity, while not fearing its extinction. Vobla lives in the Caspian Sea and in the lower Volga region.
Over the past few years, the number of vobla has decreased by more than 6 times. Because of this, environmentalists are sounding the alarm and are calling to protect the species. It is possible that if the trend does not change for the better, soon the roach will be listed in the Red Book. To increase the number, they often began to breed roach artificially, after which grown individuals are released into rivers and seas. This is done by specialized organizations, which at the same time call for limiting the number of individuals caught. At the moment, there are no restrictions in this regard. Vobla is not easily caught by nets, but even by hands, net. This is easy to do when the fish spawns.
Alas, because of the low cost of fish, fishing farms try to take in quantity, against which the number continues to decline at a frantic pace. If other fish species are actively bred in reserves to preserve the species, then no such actions are taken with respect to vobla. But in any case, the issue can only be settled with regard to fishing. Do not discount the natural enemies of the roach, which also contributes to the reduction of the population. In recent times, other food in nature has become less and less, so it is possible that natural animal enemies will become no less dangerous for a roach than a person.
Vobla - A fish popular in all of Russia that every fisherman knows.This is a tasty and externally recognizable fish, common in both fresh and salt ponds. But, in order to preserve its population further, it will be necessary to limit catching or to carry out additional artificial breeding.