Dark back, metallic blue in clear water or greeny/brown in coloured water. Silver flanks or copper-yellow in coloured water. Large red iris surrounding pupil. Dark grey/brown fins, some with a reddish tinge.
Roach have spread from southern England to most parts of the UK via anglers and wading birds. They can adapt to suit fast flowing streams and muddy ponds.
Roach prefer a certain type of weed on which to attach eggs, particularly willow moss. They first spawn aged three to six years. In stillwaters, submerged weeds, reeds and rushes are favourite for spawning. When spawning, males develop small white lumps called tubercles, which they rub against the females who then release their eggs.
They lay thousands of eggs which, after about a week, hatch into tiny fry about 4-6mm long. In stillwaters, the young shelter in weed and reed beds, seeking warm and food-rich areas.
Roach reach 5cm after one year and live for a long time – up to 25 years, although 15 years is the norm.