Tench have a stocky, carp-like shape and olive-green skin, darker above and almost golden below. The tail fin is square in shape. The other fins are distinctly rounded in shape. The mouth is rather narrow and provided at each corner with a very small barbel. Maximum size is 70 cm, though most specimens are much smaller. The eyes are small and red-orange in colour.
The tench is most often found in still waters with a clay or muddy substrate and abundant vegetation. This species is rare in clear waters across stony substrate, and is absent altogether from fast-flowing streams. It tolerates water with a low oxygen concentration, being found in waters where even the carp cannot survive.
With the planned gene bank stocks we can ensure the preservation of the genetic diversity of the species and the sustainable utilization of its stocks.