The reproductive activities of two dominant fish species, roach Rutilus rutilus and rudd Scardinius erythrophthalmus were investigated from August 2000 to July 2002 in an oligotrophic lake, Lake Sapanca, in the northwest of Turkey. A total of 907 roach and 593 rudd individuals were examined. Macroscopic appearance of ovary, gonadosomatic index and oocyte diameter frequency distribution suggested that the spawning season of roach and rudd were from early April (13 degrees C) to late May (18 degrees C) and from early May (17.5 degrees C) to late June (23.5 degrees C), respectively. The spawning cycles of both species showed the same tendency in two successive years. The estimated mean total lengths at first maturity (L-T50) were 12.26 and 14.98 cm for male and female roach, respectively, and 7.12 and 8.10 cm for male and female rudd, respectively. The sizes at 50% maturity corresponded to 3 years for roach and 1 year for rudd, for both sexes. The ratio of males to females was 1.3:1 and 1.2:1 for roach and rudd, respectively. The average condition factor K was 1.21 for rudd and 1.14 for roach, and it was not affected by sex or reproductive effort. Absolute fecundity varied from 7829 to 95,387 eggs between ages 3 and 9 for roach and from 1807 to 35,629 eggs between ages 1 and 7 for rudd. Comparisons of these results with earlier studies from more northern regions revealed that spawning of both species in this area started earlier, but spawning temperature and the duration of spawning was approximately the same.