Inhabits open waters of lakes and medium to large rivers. Forms large aggregations in backwaters and other still waters during winter. Adults occur in shoals near the surface. Larvae live in littoral zone of rivers and lakes while juveniles leave shores and occupy a pelagic habitat, feeding on plankton, drifting insects or invertebrates fallen on the water surface (Ref. 59043). Feeds mainly on plankton, including crustaceans (Ref. 30578) and insects (Ref. 9696). Spawns in shallow riffles or along stony shores of lakes, occasionally above submerged vegetation (Ref. 59043). Excellent as bait for carnivorous fishes. May be captured using the smallest hook and a fly as bait. Its flesh is tasty (Ref. 30578). Of little interest to commercial or sport fisheries in its native range because of its small size (Ref. 1739). Scales were previously utilized in making Essence d"Orient, a coating for artificial pearls (Ref. 59043).
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