Fun Pollan Fish Facts For Kids

Anusuya Mukherjee
Jan 31, 2024 By Anusuya Mukherjee
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.3 Min

Do you love learning about rare, exotic fish? Then you will love learning more information about the interesting little world of the pollan fish, an Irish fish that is found in only five lakes in the entire world! The pollan fish is a popular freshwater whitefish that is native to only one country in Europe- Ireland, specifically within the five Irish lakes (Loughs) of Lough Neagh, Lower Lough Erne, Lough Ree, Lough Derg, and lower Lough Allen. The scientific name of the Pollan fish is the Coregonus pollan and they belong to the Salmonidae family and the Coregonus genus of Whitefish. They are an extremely rare species and have seen a continuous decline in numbers in the last 30 years. As a result, they are currently on the IUCN red list and have been classified as an Endangered species. In fact, their numbers have been declining at such a steady rate that the Irish government has passed a variety of special policies and measures for the conservation and protection of these fish.

The pollan fish can grow to a length of anywhere between 9-10 in (22.9-25.4 cm) and they have an average weight of 6 oz (170 g). This makes them relatively small fish that often find themselves being prey rather than predator. In fact, one of the major contributors to the decline in the pollan fish population is the addition of larger, non-native fish into their habitats, which has led to the pollan fish being eaten as prey. They are also extremely threatened by fishing, as they are edible and considered to be a popular fish and extremely tasty. They are also captured by fishermen to source fish oil and other products.

Pollan fish are very common-looking white fish that can be confused with a regular herring. They also have silvery, scaly bodies that often make people confuse with other common fish. However, they do possess a unique adipose fin that distinguishes them from their look-alikes. They also have a relatively small mouth, tiny teeth, and a deeply forked tail. They are harmless, non-aggressive fish that have a diet consisting of insect larvae, plankton, and small crustaceans. Hence, if they were kept in an aquarium environment, they would not pose a danger to their tankmates. However, since these fish are extremely rare and restricted to a very small geographical area, keeping them in captivity is not advisable. Furthermore, they may also fall prey to their larger tankmates which will further contribute to the endangerment and extinction of this species. In fact, fishermen steer clear from these fish while fishing and avoid capturing them. If they do capture these fish, they are let back into the lake.

Read on to learn more about the pollan fish, and if you want to learn more about some fin-tastic fish, check out our Blue Shark and Grass Carp articles!

Pollan Fish Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a pollan fish?

The pollan is a freshwater fish that belongs to the whitefish family.

What class of animal does a pollan fish belong to?

The pollan is a fish belonging to the Salmonidae family.

How many pollan fishes are there in the world?

The exact population of this species is unknown. However, they are extremely rare, with the largest population residing in the Lough Neagh and Lough Erne lakes. A smaller, less significant population is found residing in Lough Ree, Shannon, and Lough Allen in the Irish republic.

Where does a pollan fish live?

The pollan is native to the freshwater lakes (Loughs) of northern Ireland, including the five main lakes of Lough Neagh, Lower Lough Erne, Lough Ree, Lough Derg, and Lough Allen.

What is a pollan fish's habitat?

Pollan fish are restricted to freshwater lakes and rivers and are only found in one country in Europe, Ireland.

Who do pollan fishes live with?

These fish are shoaling fish, which means that they travel in groups or schools of other fish for social reasons. This means that pollan fish are always found in schools of fish.

How long does a pollan fish live?

Pollan fish have an average lifespan of around three to four years.

How do they reproduce?

Pollan fish are oviparous in nature, which means that they reproduce by laying eggs. Fertilization takes place externally as the females release their eggs into the water, which are then fertilized by the sperm that the males release into the water. These fertilized eggs then fall to the bottom of the lake where they are incubated between the rocks. This time takes place around November and December. These eggs hatch between February and March.

What is their conservation status?

Pollan fish are very rare, native to Ireland and their numbers have only been declining over the years. Their numbers have seen a further decline as they are often caught to source fish oil. Hence, they have been classified as Endangered by the IUCN.

Pollan Fish Fun Facts

What do pollan fishes look like?

Pollan fish are very similar in appearance to the common herring, with silvery, scaly bodies. However, they have a unique adipose fin that distinguishes them from other fish. They have small mouths with tiny teeth. They also have a very forked tail and an average-sized dorsal fin.

Pollan fish are characterized by their adipose fins, small mouths, and forked tail

How cute are they?

Pollan fish are silvery and rather common-looking fish as they do not have bright colored scales or attractive tails. Hence, they are not usually considered to be cute, but they are harmless and considered to be a top priority in Ireland.

How do they communicate?

Pollan fish make use of color, physical movements, smell, and electric impulses to communicate with each other. They make use of twitches and quick movements with their heads or tails to communicate with other fish. They can also make sense of the vibrations caused by the movements of other animals around them to target their prey.

How big is a pollan fish?

This species of fish can grow between 9-10 in (22.9-25.4 cm) and have an average weight of 6 oz (170 g). This makes them two times smaller than the average drum fish by length. Some other interesting fish include the half-black angelfish, Irish lord fish, and the dusky damselfish.

How fast can a pollan fish swim?

There is no estimated data about how fast a pollan fish can swim. However, it is speculated that the pollan fish swims at an average speed of 3.7 mph (5.9 kph).

How much does a pollan fish weigh?

Pollan fish have an average weight of 6 oz (170 g). However, the maximum weight of a pollan fish was recorded to be 42.3 oz (1.2 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for males and females of this species. They are simply referred to as pollan fish male and female.

What would you call a baby pollan fish?

There is no specific name for a baby pollan fish. They are referred to as juveniles or fry.

What do they eat?

Pollan fish eat small insect larvae, crustaceans, bottom invertebrates, and planktons.

Are they dangerous?

This species is considered to be harmless and not dangerous at all. In fact, they are relatively small and non-aggressive fish, non-venomous fish.

Would they make a good pet?

These fish are highly endangered and native to only five Irish lakes. In fact, they are considered to be extremely rare and protected fish in Ireland. Hence, capturing these fish and taking them out of the pollan fish habitat is not advisable. In addition to this, these fish are also non-aggressive in nature. Hence, if kept in a tank environment, they may fall prey to larger tankmates.

Did you know...

This species is incredibly rare, so much so that they are not found in the waters of any country in western Europe other than Ireland. In fact, in 2015, pollan is the first Irish fish that has been given the special status of PDO or 'Protected Designation of Origin' by the European Commission in a bid to end its population decline. This designation is only given to species or products that are found in only one geographical location.

The healthiest and largest pollan fish population has been recorded in the lakes (Loughs) of Lough Erne and Lough Neagh. However, the pollan fish population has been slowly coming to an end as it saw a steep decline in the last 30 years due to eutrophication and the introduction of non-native species. This has prompted a series of conservation steps and measures by the Irish government to prevent the further decline of this species.

Can you eat a pollan fish?

Since this species is not dangerous or poisonous, they are fit for human consumption and are considered to be tasty. However, since they are native to Ireland and are classified as endangered species, they are not a common delicacy and are not often seen in restaurants and cafes. In addition to this, they are only in season in the months of February and March and are usually avoided by fishermen due to their endangered status. However, these fish are commonly captured to source fish oil.

Why is it called a pollan fish?

The word pollan means a white fish belonging to Irish waters. Since the Coregonus pollan is a whitefish native to Ireland, it is commonly referred to as pollan fish.

For more relatable content, check out these catfish facts and Chum Salmon facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Pollan fish coloring pages.

Pollan Fish Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Small insects, crustaceans

What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


How Much Did They Weigh?

6 oz (170 g)

What habitat Do they Live In?

freshwater bodies

Where Do They Live?


How Long Were They?

9-10 in (22.9-25.4 cm)

How Tall Were They?








Scientific Name

Coregonus pollan

What Do They Look Like?

Light scaly skin, red/white streaks

Skin Type


What Are Their Main Threats?

eutrophication, foreign species

What is their Conservation Status?

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Written by Anusuya Mukherjee

Bachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

Anusuya Mukherjee picture

Anusuya MukherjeeBachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".

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