Fish In Lake Marathon – Greece

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fish spotted in lake marathon near the dam, greece

Yesterday, we drove to a beach on the sea near the Greek town of Marathonos. We took a very nice scenic route that had us travel by car over the dam (or φραγμα – fragma in Greek) that was built back in the early 19th century in order to create a man-made reservoir that was the main supply of fresh water to the city of Athens for several decades.

If you are ever in the area, it’s a worthwhile visit to see the views from the lookout area before you drive across the dam – more photos posted below – but for now, I’m interested in the fish that I could see. Most people that know me know that for most of my life, I have been an avid angler – although in the past 20 years, it’s been primarily fly fishing. I am not sure if fly fishing is popular in Greece – I have not seen anyone doing it, but sometimes I regret I did not bring my fly fishing gear with me. Although, I’d have to find out about Greek fishing regulations first.

The dam is really interesting to see – it’s very narrow and there is only one lane of traffic that can cross it. There are traffic lights on either side to control the vehicular traffic, although I’m lead to believe these did not always exist, and one can imagine the conflicts that might have occurred when one driver wanted to reach the other side, meeting a vehicle coming from the opposite direction.

Anyhow, we stopped on the one side where there was some limited parking available for those that wanted to see the views of Lake Marathon and the dam itself. I’m glad that I had my Nikon D7000 camera with me to take photos. While looking at the lake, I noticed that there were quite a number of fish near the surface of the water close by to the dam. I wondered what kind of fish they could be and if I did have fishing gear with me, if it would have been legal or even worthwhile to cast a line to them.

But I could not do that, so the next best thing was to take photos of them, if possible. To give some perspective, the water level is a good distance down from where I was standing – so these are not some small fish. Of course, they are not massive either, but are good sized fish that would probably put up a good fight on a rod and reel. Estimating distances as well as lengths is not one of my strong points, but I’d say that some of these fish looked to be at least 16″ long or more. For better reference, the image above was taken with the Nikon and a lens at a zoom of 105mm – the original photograph was 3527 X 1960 pixels and I cropped quite a bit out of the image before shrinking it to 1000 X 437.

Curious when we got home, I did some googling about freshwater fish in Greece. I could not find any references to fish that make Lake Marathon home, but I did come across blog post by Dr. Zogaris who writes about “conservation science, natural history and nature travel.”

In this post, Dr. Zogaris writes about a trip to a “secret lake” near Athens that was created as a water reservoir. There, Dr. Zogaris took photos of both Greek Rudd and Greek Barbel fish. In comparing my photos to those on Athens Nature Journal blog, I am still not sure what I was seeing in Lake Marathon. My photos are very similar to the fish in the photo of the Greek Rudd in the water. But I suppose they could also be Greek Barbel. Whatever my photos are of, the fish are quite large so hopefully someone who is familiar with fish in Greece might be able to help out to identify the fish I was observing in Lake Marathon.

Shortly, I’ll also post some of the other photos and send Dr. Zogaris an email to see if we can identify these fish.

9 thoughts on “Fish In Lake Marathon – Greece”

  1. Most probably, they are Luciobarbus hellenicus (,272,2,&page=1). The species has been introduced to the reservoir and can reach quite a large size, up to 110 cm ( Ctenopharyngodon idella is also a possibility, but I can’t find any published data on its present in the area.

    Other species that can be found near or in the reservoir are Economidichthys pygmaeus ( (introduced there), Pelasgus marathonicus ( and Squalius cf. vardarensis (

      1. You are welcome Ian! Just two corrections on my comment: a) it’s Luciobarbus graecus, not L. hellenicus and b) Squalius cf. vardarensis is also introduced in the area, not native.

        1. Sorry for the late reply, Georgios – again, thank you! Missing my fly fishing gear back in Canada – If I had it, I could learn more about the species of fish here in Greece – catch them, look at them, and then release them back. Or, keep and eat too 🙂

  2. Mauricio ReyesCardozo

    I have been there I also like to fish and when I was there I also saw some fish and also wonder about if I was able legally to fish in the lake…. Also I did not carry fishing gear. But, does somebody know if you can go to fish there? I would appreciate the answer

    1. I personally have no clue, Maurcio – but I would like to know the answer to that as well. If I manage to get my fly fishing gear shipped over, I will look into it further and let you know!

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