Bream ©Jack Perks


Scientific name: Abramis brama
The bronze-coloured bream can be seen gathering in large shoals in lowland ponds, lakes and slow-flowing rivers. It is a member of the carp family and looks similar to the dace, chub and rudd.

Species information


Length: 30-40cm
Weight: up to 4.5kg
Average Lifespan: 15-20 years

Conservation status


When to see

January to December


The bream is a medium-sized fish and a member of the carp family, so displays the typical carp shape. It is a bottom-feeding fish that preys on worms, snails and pea mussels. It lives in large ponds, lakes and slow-moving rivers where it congregates in quite large shoals.

How to identify

The bream is a deep-bodied fish, with a high back and flattened sides. It is bronze in colour, with dark brown fins and a deeply forked tail. Juveniles are silvery in colour.


Widespread in lowland England, but rarer in Wales and Scotland.

Did you know?

In areas where bream and other fish spawn together, the bream frequently hybridises with its close relative the Roach.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts work with planners, water companies, landowners, statutory bodies and anglers to help make our waterways and waterbodies as good for wildlife as they are for people. By working together, we can create Living Landscapes: networks of habitats stretching across town and country that allow wildlife to move about freely and people to enjoy the benefits of nature. Support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.