Squalius cephalus 

Chub, Courtesy of Jack Perks


The chub appearance is perhaps best described as the shape of a dace but with the red fins of a roach. However they can grow much larger than both these species, up to 60cms long. They have a blunter snout and when viewed from above their thick white lips around the mouth are very obvious as is the dark tinge to their tail. They are silver in colour. As they mature they adopt a more golden colour and gain a red colour to their pelvic and anal fins. 


Chub like to feed on surface prey like surface dwelling freshwater invertebrates but will also take terrestrial invertebrates like crane-fly and spiders that fall onto the water surface. As they grow they begin to tackle larger prey, and as adults they will eat small fish like minnows and fry fish as well as crayfish. Some anglers target larger chub with use of small fish-like lures, but can also be successful with fly fishing methods. 


Chub, like Barbel, have a high protein diet and are muscly, meaning they’re suited to fast flowing water. In fact, they are usually found in the same stretches of river as Barbel. Chub are quite common in the upper reaches of the River Severn and Anglers regularly catch specimens of over 6lbs (2.7kgs) in weight. 

Did you know?

Chub are a relatively long-lived fish. They can live up to10 years, so are dependent on good spawning every few years to maintain numbers. Chub can therefore appear to be very dominant in a river, but then to suddenly die out until a new cohort of smaller chub grows to replace them. 

Picture of chub from above, note white lips, dark tail and slight red on fins

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