10 20 40 60 cm
mittakaava < 40 cm
Gösta Sundman: Suomen Kalat (Kansalliskirjasto, The National Library of Finland), Lauri Urho, Petri Savola (Uudenmaan ympäristökeskus), Jouko Lehmuskallio. All rights reserved.
- Family: Carps and minnows – Cyprinidae
- Similar species: asp, chub, whitefish, dace, ide, roach, rudd
- Size: 25–35 cm, seldom over 2 kg.
- Appearance: The vimba was once classified as a bream, with which it shares a long anal fin, though its body is not as deep. It also bears a passing resemblance to the asp, but the mouths of the two are quite different: in the vimba the mouth is inferior to the short, rounded snout, while in the asp the mouth is large, with the lower jaw protruding. While the snout is similar to that of the whitefish, the vimba lacks an adipose fin. The scales are rather small for a cyprinid, 57–63 along the lateral line.
- Colouring: Back dark bluish grey, sides silvery. The pectoral and pelvic fins are reddish yellow at the base, the eye yellow. Spawning fish are more colourful, the back turning almost black and the sides acquiring a yellowish tinge. In males the base of the underside fins, operculum and sometimes the whole belly take on a bright orange colour.
- Reproduction: Leaves the sea in May-June to spawn in rivers, where it seeks a stony or gravelly bottom in fast-flowing water free from vegetation. Females deposit their eggs in an area prepared by the male, usually in three batches.
- Food: Bottom invertebrates and roe of other fish.
- Distribution and habitat: Although a fish of inland waters, in Finland vimba are found only in the sea and in rivers flowing into the sea. Its northern limit appears to be around Vaasa, though there have been reports of vimba ascending more northerly rivers. Vimba move along the coast in small shoals feeding close to the bottom. In so doing the fish may cover considerable distances. Stocks in Finland have been in decline since the early 1900s. While vimba do not move as far up rivers to spawn as salmonids, they have nevertheless suffered from the construction of dams and other obstacles.