The size of the bream varies among the species. The carp bream (Abramis brama) can reach 30 to 55 centimeters (12 to 20 inches) in length. Some of the variants are known to reach 30 inches. Their weight can vary between 4 to 9 lbs.
Bream is a term used for various kinds of freshwater fish. There are several genera that fall under this bream definition. They include Abramis, Blicca, Acanthopagrus, Argyrops, Chilotilapia, Brama, Nemipterus, Scolopsis, Rhabdosargus Lepomis, Gymnocranius and many more.
While the aforementioned genera are all bream, this does not imply that all are closely related. However, many of them have deep, narrow bodies. Sometimes the term bream is used to describe the pomfrets and porgies.
The Abramis Genus
The average size of the bream is 14 to 33 inches (35 to 82 cm). The average weight is 2 to 13 lbs (1 to 6 kg). The Abramis genus is of the family Cyprinidae (the order is Cypriniformes).
The species can be found in the waters of northern Europe. The species usually have bodies shaped like lozenges which are flattened. The color varies from silver to brown.
The fish are omnivorous. Their diet consists of invertebrates and numerous plants. On occasion the Abramis feeds on small fish. In turn, the Abramis are food for the pikes and other big fish.
The species in the genera are the white-eye bream (Abramis sapa), zope (Abramis ballerus), silver bream (Abramis bjoerkna) and the carp bream (Abramis brama).
The Carp Bream
As stated, the average size of the bream in this species is between 30 to 55 cm. Known simply as bream in the United Kingdom, the fish can be found in rivers and canals. Their range extends from the Pyrenees to the Balkans. The fish is also found in the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea and the Aral Sea.
The carp bream has a high backed body, while the mouth is inferior. The fish is usually silver gray but some variants are bronze-like in appearance. The fins are either black or gray.
The fish looks very similar to the silver bream. The only discernible difference is that carp bream have nine scales or less. The silver bream has no less than eleven.
Aside from rivers, the carp bream can be seen in lakes, the muddy bottoms, algae and some ponds. The fish like to go there because of the nutrients. The fish can also be seen at brackish sea waters. The schools of fish are usually found near the bottom of the sea.
During the evenings the bream will come close to the top. Its diet consists of gastropods, bivalves, chironomidae larvae and different types of water plants. The carp beam spawns around April. This usually takes place in 17 C (73 F) waters.
As the size of the bream is dependent on the species, it is essential for anyone studying it to make sure they identify the correct type. As in the case of the silver and carp bream, confusion can easily occur.