Description: UK Record :19lb 6oz S.Curtin Great Ouse River Bedfordshire
Barbels are group of large carp-like freshwater fish, almost all of the genus Barbus. They are usually found in gravel and rocky bottomed fast flowing waters with high dissolved oxygen content. A typical adult barbel will range from 25 to 100 cm in length and weigh anywhere between 200 g and 10 kg, although weights of 1-2kg are more common.
The name barbel derived from the Latin "barba" meaning beard, a reference to the two pairs of barbs - a longer pair pointing forwards and slightly down positioned - on the side of the mouth.
Fish described as barbels by English-speaking people may not be known as barbels in their native country, although the root of the word may be similar. For instance, the Mediterranean barbel, Barbus meridionalis is known as barbeau mÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â©ridional or barbeau truitÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â© in France.
Location: Barbel have 3 main needs
* Cover - from predators and/ the flow
Distribution: Barbus barbus, the barbel native to Britain is known simply as the barbel and is a popular sport fish. Subspecies of B. barbus are recognised; namely B. barbus bocagei, B. barbus sclateri, B. barbus thessalus and B. barbus plebejus.
The Mediterranean barbel Barbus meridionalis is actually found in Spain, France, Poland, Romania, and the Ukraine. It is a much smaller fish than B. barbus.
Other barbel in Europe include Barbus sclateri - sometimes known as the European barbel; the Italian barbel Barbus tyberinus; the Albanian barbel Barbus albanicus; the Iberian barbel as found in Spain and Portugal and another species Barbus prespensis from Greece