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List of fish in the River Trent facts for kids

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River Trent
Map showing location of the River Trent
KingsMills George Turner
The Trent near Castle Donington by George Turner, 1881: King's Mill near Castle Donington was the location for catches of sturgeon and eels.

This list of fish in the River Trent is a list of fish species that have been recorded from the River Trent, a major river in England that starts in Staffordshire, flows through the Midlands, and joins the River Ouse to form the Humber Estuary.

The impressive diversity of fish species in this river has been known (and celebrated) since 1590, with poetry containing the earliest mention that the Trent contains 30 kinds of fish. The earliest actual list of fish in the river is from 1641. Over the centuries some species have since become locally extinct, and other species have been introduced.

1641 list

The earliest known list of fish from the River Trent was from 1641. Although the list contains thirty names, one of them is not a fish by modern standards, but an edible crustacean, the Crayfish. The list also includes some fish names that no longer exist in modern English, such as "Frenches" and "Lenbrood"; these species are therefore currently unidentifiable.

FishingTrent Turner
Fishing on the Trent near Ingleby by George Turner, 1850

The 1641 list of 30 species (verbatim, note antique spelling of some names):

Barbet, Bream, Bullhead, Burbolts, Carp, Chevin, Crayfish, Dates, Eel, Flounder, Frenches, Gudgeon, Grayling, Lampern, Lamphrey, Lenbrood, Loach, Minnows, Pickeral, Pinks, Perch, Roach, Ruff, Salmon, Shad, Smelt, Sticklebats, Sturgeon, Trout, Whitling.

Note on the sturgeon

The largest of these fish was the sturgeon, a species which at one time was fairly frequently caught in the Trent, but only in low numbers. Notable examples included a sturgeon of eight feet taken near Donington castle in 1255, and another at nearby King's Mill of seven feet in 1791. The last known catch was in 1902 near Holme, Nottinghamshire; the fish was eight and a half feet long and weighed 250 pounds.

1676 description

In 1676 in Izaak Walton described the River Trent as "One of the finest rivers in the world and the most abounding with excellent salmon and all sorts of delicate fish."

Walton also speculated (incorrectly) that the name of the River Trent might be based on the number of fish species, that the Trent is "... so called from thirty kind of fishes that are found in it, or for that it receiveth thirty lesser rivers".

1751 list

In 1751, Charles Deering provided a list of 34 kinds, under the title An alphabetical list of all the fish catch’d in the River Trent. This listed read (verbatim);

Barbel, Bream, Bulhead, Burbot, Carp, Chub, Crayfish, Dace, Eel, Flounder, Grayling, Gudgeon, Lamprey, Lampern, Loach, Minnow, Muscle, Perch, Pike, Roach, Rud, Ruff, Salmon, Salmon Trout, Salmon Pink, Sand Eel, Shad, Smelt, Strickleback, Sturgeon, Stream Pink, Tench, Trout, and Whitling.

This list also includes several unrecognizable fish. It also lists three different names for salmon, as well as "Whitling", which is a name for a young male trout, and "Muscle", which is probably a reference to freshwater mussels, formerly used as food in some areas.


Glover reproduced Deering's list in his History and Gazetteer of the County of Derby, and also provided further information on many of the then known species in the companion volume, The History of the County of Derby (Volume 1).


In 1985, a study of anglers' catches stated that the ‘Trent supports about 40 species’, but they were not listed. The fish that were caught most often, and were important to anglers, included barbel, bream, bleak, carp, chub, dace, eel, gudgeon, perch, and roach.

2007 non-native species

Non-native species that had a sustainable population in the river were listed in 2007, and included the European bitterling (Rhodeus amarus), carp (Cyprinus carpio), and zander (Sander lucioperca).

Master list

This list is based on Deering's 1829 list. It includes the locally extinct species as well as the more recent additions, but it does not claim to be fully comprehensive; other species may occur in the river but are as yet undocumented.

Number Name Image Other names Species name in 1829
Modern species name
Notes References
1. Barbel Barbel.jpg Barbet Cyprinus barbus
Barbus barbus
2. Bitterling Rhodeus amarus 2008 G2.jpg European bitterling Not listed in 1829
Rhodeus amarus
Non native
3. Bleak Alburnus alburnus Hungary.jpg Cyprinus Alburnus
Alburnus alburnus
4. Bream Carp bream1.jpg Cyprinus Brama
Abramis brama
5. Bullhead Cottus gobio (in situ).jpg Bulhead
River bullhead
Cottius Gobio
Cottus gobio
6. Burbot Lota lota GLERL 1.jpg Eelpout Cyprinus Barbus
Lota lota
Locally extinct
7. Carp Common carp.jpg Common carp Cyprinus Carpio
Cyprinus carpio
Non native
8. Chub Squalius cephalus.jpg Chevin
European chub
Cyprinus Jeses
Squalius cephalus
9. Dace Leuciscus leuciscus.jpg Cyprinus Leuciscus
Leuciscus leuciscus
10. Eel Anguilla anguilla (Linnaeus 1758) Fig 163 (Matschie et al. 1909).svg Common eel Anguilla Vulgaris
Anguilla anguilla
11. Flounder Flounder..jpg Pleuronectes Flesus
Platichthys flesus
12. Grayling Thymallus thymallus Pénzes pér.jpg Salmo Thymallus
Thymallus thymallus
13. Gudgeon Id, Iduns kokbok.jpg Cyprinus Gobio
Gobio gobio
14. Brook lamprey Origin of Vertebrates Fig 018.png Not listed in 1829
Lampetra planeri
15. Lamprey Lampreys.jpg Lamprey nine eyed eel
Lampern seven eyed eel
Petromyzon Fluviatilis
Lampetra fluviatilis
16. Loach Cobitis taenia1.jpg Groundling loach
Spined loach
Cobitis taenia
Cobitis taenia
17. Minnow Phoxinus phoxinus fürge cselle.jpg Pink Cyprinus Phoxinus
Phoxinus phoxinus
18. Perch Abborre, Iduns kokbok.jpg Common perch Percea Fluviatilis
Perca fluviatilis
19. pike Esox lucius1.jpg Common pike Esox Lucius
Esox lucius
20. Roach Rutilusrutilus38cm 2143x1060.JPG Cyprinus Rutilus
Rutilus rutilus
21. Rudd Rotfeder Rudd.jpg Not listed in 1829
Scardinius erythropthalmus
22. Ruffe Gymnocephalus cernuus drawing.jpg Ruffe or pope Perca Cernua
Gymnocephalus cernua
23. Salmon Salmo salar.jpg Common salmon
Atlantic salmon
Salmo Salar
Salmo salar
Locally extinct
but reintroduced
24. Sand eel Sand eel or melting on a white background from Ireland.jpg Not listed in 1829
Family Ammodytidae
25. Shad The Shad (Clupea Sapidissima).jpg Not listed in 1829
Genus Alosa
26. Smelt Stinta.2008-03-09.jpg European smelt Not listed in 1829
Osmerus eperlanus
27. Stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus tüskés pikó.jpg Strickleback
Common stickleback
Three-spined stickleback
Gasterosteus Aculeatus
Gasterosteus aculeatus
28. Sturgeon Acipenser sturio 1879.jpg European sea sturgeon
Common sturgeon
Acipenser sturio
Acipenser sturio
Locally extinct
29. Tench Tinca tinca1.jpg Cyprinus Tinca
Tinca tinca
30. Trout Bachforelle Zeichnung.jpg Common trout
Brown trout
Whitling - young male
Salmo Fario
Salmo trutta
31. Zander Gös, Iduns kokbok.jpg Not listed in 1829
Sander lucioperca
Non native
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