Roach, a fish of the carp family (cyprinidoe) and genus leuciscus (Klein). The generic characters have been given under Dace. The common roach of Europe (L. rutilus, Klein) attains a length of 10 to 15 in.; the upper part of the head and back is dusky green with blue reflections, lighter on the sides, and silvery white below and on the cheeks; the pectorals orange red, ventrals and anal bright red, and the dorsal and caudal pale brown tinged with red. The muzzle is rather sharp, and the mouth small with soft lips; there are hooked teeth in the pharynx, and the abdomen behind the ventrals is somewhat keeled; there is a single dorsal in the middle of the back, over the ventrals, which, with the anal, has no bony ray; the nape and back rise suddenly; the scales are large, with concentric and radiating lines, 43 on the lateral line, which falls by a curve from the upper part of the gill cover below the middle of the body, and thence is nearly straight to the tail. It is found in large shoals in the still rivers and lakes of temperate Europe, and feeds on worms and aquatic plants; it is caught abundantly in the Thames, going high up the river in May or June to spawn, but is best for food and finest in color in October; yet it is not much esteemed.
The beautiful dace of New England (L. [leucoso-mus] pulchellus, Girard) resembles the European fish, and hence is often called roach; this name is also applied to the bream (pomo-tis vulgaris, Cuv.).
European Roach (Leuciscus rutilus).