Freshwater fish, Alburnus alburnus (bleak), were captured from Lake Mogan, situated in Ankara, during spring. The surface mucus of the fish was collected and associated bacteria were cultured and isolated. By sequencing PCR-amplified 16S RNA encoding genes, the isolates were identified as members of 12 different genera: Acinetobacter, Aeromonas, Bacillus, Brevundimonas, Gordonia, Kocuria, Microbacterium, Mycobacterium, Pseudomonas, Rhodococcus, and Staphylococcus, in addition to one strain that was unidentified. The mucus-dwelling bacterial isolates were tested for resistance against ampicillin, kanamycin, streptomycin and chloramphenicol. About 95% of the isolates were found to be resistant to ampicillin, 93% to chloramphenicol, and 88% to kanamycin and streptomycin. A Microbacterium oxydans and the unidentified environmental isolate were resistant to all four antibiotics tested at very high levels (>1600 mu g/ml ampicillin and streptomycin; >1120 mu g/ml kanamycin; >960 mu g/ml chloramphenicol). Only a Kocuria sp. was sensitive to all four antibiotics at the lowest concentrations tested (3.10 mu g/ml ampicillin and streptomycin; 2.15 mu g/ml kanamycin; 1.85 mu g/ml chloramphenicol). The rest of the isolates showed different resistance levels. Plasmid isolations were carried out to determine if the multiple antibiotic resistance could be attributed to the presence of plasmids. However, no plasmid was detected in any of the isolates. The resistance appeared to be mediated by chromosome-associated functions. This study indicated that multiple antibiotic resistance at moderate to high levels is common among the current phenotypes of the fish mucus-dwelling bacterial populations in this temperate, shallow lake which has not been subjected to any aquaculturing so far but under anthropogenic effect being in a recreational area. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.