Inhabits submontane reaches of rivers with a hard sand or stone bottom and well oxygenated, cold and fast-flowing water (Ref. 59043). Prefers running, well-oxygenated waters of rivers (Ref. 30578). In Scandinavia, it occurs in clear lakes and freshened part of northern Baltic basin. Usually lives in hollows behind boulders and shaded water under overhanging vegetation (Ref. 59043). Gregarious, forms schools (Ref. 2196). Feeds mainly on insects (Ref. 9696), nymphs, small worms and crustaceans (Ref. 30578). Breeds in shallow stretches, usually 20-40 cm deep, or riffles, with moderate current of about 0.5 m/s and clean gravel bottom (Ref. 59043). Can be captured with natural bait (insect larvae) or with artificial fly. Very sensitive to pollution (Ref. 30578).