Gregarious. Occurs in fairly shallow water with fast current, often beside the swirls created by piles of bridges or rocks (Ref. 30578). Inhabits moderate to fast-flowing large to medium sized rivers with rock or gravel bottom. Larvae occur below surface and feeding larvae inhabit along shores. Early juveniles live on the bottom in very shallow shoreline habitats. When growing, they move from the shore for faster-flowing waters. Juveniles overwinter in backwaters or in cavities along shores. During winter, adults form dense swarms in lower parts of rivers. Larvae and early juveniles prey on small invertebrates while larger juveniles and adults feed on benthic diatoms and detritus. Migrates some tens of km to spawning sites, which are often located in tributaries. Spawns in fast flowing water on shallow gravel beds often in small tributaries (Ref. 59043). Reported to migrate upstream and enters small tributaries for spawning in shallow water on gravel (Ref. 556). Its flesh is good but bony (Ref. 30578). Locally threatened by damming, destruction of spawning sites and pollution. In drainages where it is introduced, this species outcompetes and eliminates Parachondrostoma toxostoma in Rhône and Protochondrostoma genei in Soca (Ref. 59043).