Tench, a soft-rayed, fresh-water fish of the carp family, and genus tinca (Cuv.), peculiar to the old world. The best known species is the T. vulgaris (Cuv.), rarely more than 14 in. long, of a deep yellowish brown, and sometimes golden and greenish; the dorsal and anal fins have no osseous rays, and the former is inserted behind the commencement of the ven-trals; the teeth on the pharynx are compressed and club-shaped; scales very minute, covered with mucus; a very small labial barbel at each side of mouth; the body thick and broad, and the ventrals in the male much larger than in the female. It is spread over Europe and N. Asia, and is more or less abundant in the ornamental waters and ponds of Great Britain, but is not found much above lat. 60° N.; it prefers stagnant waters with a muddy bottom, concealing itself in winter in the mud in a torpid state; like the carp it is very tenacious of life; the food consists of worms and aquatic insects, with sometimes seeds and plants. The eggs are deposited in May or June; they are very minute, greenish, about 300,000 in a single female, and are placed among aquatic plants.
In its natural state the flesh is not good, but is delicate when the fish are properly fed.
Common Tench (Tinca vulgaris).