Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Perca fluviatilis



Perca fluviatilis (perch)


  • Last modified
  • 22 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Natural Enemy
  • Host Animal
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Perca fluviatilis
  • Preferred Common Name
  • perch
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Chordata
  •       Subphylum: Vertebrata
  •         Class: Actinopterygii
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Several countries have reported adverse ecological impacts after the introduction of P. fluviatilis (Froese and Pauly, 2011). One such examp...

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Perca fluviatilis (perch); adult fish.
CaptionPerca fluviatilis (perch); adult fish.
Copyright©Christa Rohrbach/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 2.0
Perca fluviatilis (perch); adult fish.
AdultPerca fluviatilis (perch); adult fish.©Christa Rohrbach/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 2.0


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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Perca fluviatilis Linnaeus, 1758

Preferred Common Name

  • perch

Other Scientific Names

  • Perca fluviatilis aurea Smitt, 1892
  • Perca fluviatilis gibba Smitt, 1892
  • Perca fluviatilis gracilis Pokrovsky, 1951
  • Perca fluviatilis intermedius Svetovidov and Dorofeyeva. 1963
  • Perca fluviatilis macedonica Karaman, 1924
  • Perca fluviatilis maculata Smitt, 1892
  • Perca fluviatilis nigrescens Heckel, 1837
  • Perca fluviatilis phragmiteti Berg, 1933
  • Perca fluviatilis zaissanica Dianov, 1955
  • Perca helvetica Gronow, 1854
  • Perca italica Cuvier, 1828
  • Perca vulgaris Schaeffer, 1761
  • Perca vulgaris aurata Fitzinger, 1832

International Common Names

  • English: Eurasian perch; European perch
  • French: barsch; boyat; brell; cochonnet
  • Russian: okun

Local Common Names

  • Austria: flußbarsch
  • Bulgaria: kostur
  • Czech Republic: okoun ricni
  • Denmark: aborre
  • Finland: ahven
  • Germany: bahrs; barsch; berse; bersich; egli
  • Iceland: aborri
  • Iran: bachen suf
  • Ireland: an pheirse mhara
  • Netherlands: baars
  • Norway: abbor; åbor
  • Romania: biban
  • Sweden: abborre

Summary of Invasiveness

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Several countries have reported adverse ecological impacts after the introduction of P. fluviatilis (Froese and Pauly, 2011). One such example is in the Murray-Darling Basin, South Australia, where it is considered a threat to native fish species.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Chordata
  •             Subphylum: Vertebrata
  •                 Class: Actinopterygii
  •                     Order: Perciformes
  •                         Suborder: Percoidei
  •                             Family: Percidae
  •                                 Genus: Perca
  •                                     Species: Perca fluviatilis


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The colour of the perch depends on the habitat in which they live. In shallow areas where light penetration is good, they tend to be darkly coloured whereas in poorly lit areas without vegetation they are lightly coloured. Carotenoids, derived from crustaceans in the diet, sometimes make them deeply reddish-yellow. The dorsal surface is usually bright green to olive which extends down the sides in seven tapering bars. The sides are yellow to yellow-green and the ventral surface grey to white. The eyes are green to yellow, as are the caudal and dorsal fins. The first spine of the dorsal fin is often black and the membrane between spines one and two and that between the last four or five spines is also blackish. The pectoral fins are amber and transparent whereas the pelvic and anal fins are silver-white to yellow and opaque. Some perch have been observed to be entirely black. Male perch have thicker skin than females for most of the year (Lindesjöö, 1994). Regardless of sex, the epidermis is thickest in the prespawning period whereas the dermis is thickest after spawning. The body feels rough to the touch as a result of low mucus production and the presence of ctenoid scales. There are 51-61 scales along the lateral line.

It is difficult to determine the sex from external appearances; the gravid female however is more rounded and the male expels milt on handling.

Adult perch can reach a maximum length of 51 cm and weight of 4.75 kg, average length being 35 cm and average weight 1.20 kg.


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Native to Eurasia, P. fluviatilis has been widely introduced as a sport fish.

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 10 Jan 2020
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes


South AfricaPresentIntroduced




Bosnia and HerzegovinaPresentNative
Serbia and MontenegroPresentNative
United KingdomPresentNative


New ZealandPresentIntroduced


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Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
Australia UK 1868 Hunting, angling, sport or racing (pathway cause)Unknown Yes No DIAS (2004)
China 1970-1979 Unknown Yes No
Cyprus UK 1971 Hunting, angling, sport or racing (pathway cause)Unknown Yes No DIAS (2004)
Ireland UK 1700-1799 Hunting, angling, sport or racing (pathway cause)Individual Yes No DIAS (2004)
Italy 1860 Unknown Yes No
Morocco Switzerland 1939 Hunting, angling, sport or racing (pathway cause)Unknown Yes No DIAS (2004)
New Zealand Australia 1867 Unknown Yes No
South Africa UK 1915 Hunting, angling, sport or racing (pathway cause)Unknown Yes No DIAS (2004)
Spain Unknown Yes No DIAS (2004)
Turkey Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown No Yes DIAS (2004)

Habitat List

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FreshwaterLakes Present, no further details
FreshwaterRivers / streams Present, no further details
FreshwaterPonds Present, no further details
BrackishEstuaries Present, no further details

Natural Food Sources

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Food SourceFood Source DatasheetLife StageContribution to Total Food Intake (%)Details


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C - Temperate/Mesothermal climate Preferred Average temp. of coldest month > 0°C and < 18°C, mean warmest month > 10°C

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC) 31

Water Tolerances

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ParameterMinimum ValueMaximum ValueTypical ValueStatusLife StageNotes
Depth (m b.s.l.) 1 30 3-4 Optimum In the wild
Illumination (Lux illuminance) 90 400 Optimum Larval In aquaculture
Water pH (pH) 7.0-7.5 Optimum In the wild
Water temperature (ºC temperature) >20 Harmful Larval In aquaculture
Water temperature (ºC temperature) >20 Harmful Fry In aquaculture
Water temperature (ºC temperature) 17 20 Optimum Larval In aquaculture
Water temperature (ºC temperature) 17 20 Optimum Fry In aquaculture
Water temperature (ºC temperature) 22 24 Optimum Adult In aquaculture
Water temperature (ºC temperature) 31.4 33.5 Harmful Adult In aquaculture
Water temperature (ºC temperature) 10 22 Optimum In the wild

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Anguilla anguilla Predator Egg/Fry/Larval Fishbase (2004)
Esox lucius Predator Egg/Fry/Larval Fishbase (2004)
Lota lota Predator Egg/Fry/Larval Fishbase (2004)
Salmo trutta Predator Egg/Fry/Larval Fishbase (2004)
Sander lucioperca Predator Egg/Fry/Larval Fishbase (2004)
Silurus glanis Predator Egg/Fry/Larval Fishbase (2004)

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
StockingMay be stocked as a sport fish Yes Yes ISSG (2011)

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
WaterSwimming to new areas within a water body Yes ISSG (2011)

Impact Summary

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Biodiversity (generally) Negative
Native fauna Negative

Environmental Impact

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Several countries have reported adverse ecological impacts after the introduction of P. fluviatilis (Froese and Pauly, 2011). For further details see ISSG (2011).

Uses List

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  • Sport (hunting, shooting, fishing, racing)
  • Sport fish

Human food and beverage

  • Fresh meat
  • Frozen meat
  • Live product for human consumption
  • Whole

Prevention and Control

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Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.

For more information on the management of this species see ISSG (2011).


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Abi-Ayad SM, Melard C, Kestemont P, 1997. Effects of n-3 fatty acids in Eurasian perch broodstock diet on egg fatty acid composition and larvae stress resistance. Aquaculture International, 5:161-168

Brown PB, Barrows FT, 2002. Percids. Nutrient requirements and feeding of finfish for aquaculture, 219-229

Craig JF, 1977. Seasonal changes in the day and night activity of adult perch, Perca fluviatilis L. Journal of Fish Biology, 11:161-166

Craig JF, 2000. Percid fishes: systematics, ecology and exploitation. Percid fishes: systematics, ecology and exploitation., xvi + 352 pp.; [many ref]

Dabrowski K, Culver DA, Brooks CL, Voss AC, Binkowski FP, Yeo SE, Balogun AM, 1993. Biochemical aspects of the early life history of yellow perch (Perca flavescens). In: Kaushik SJ, Luquet P, eds. Fish nutrition in practice, 531-539

DAISIE, 2011. European Invasive Alien Species Gateway.

DIAS, 2004. FAO Database on Introductions of Aquatic Species. Online at Accessed 25 February 2005

Fabricius E, 1956. Hur abborren leker. Zoologist Revy, 18:48-55

Filatov GP, Duplakov SN, 1926. Materialen zur kenntuis der fische des Aral Sees. Bulletin de l’Universite de l’Asie Centrale, Tashkent, 24:203-230

Fiogbé ED, Kestemont P, Mélard C, Micha JC, 1996. The effects of dietary crude protein on growth of the Eurasian perch Perca fluviatilis. Aquaculture, 144(1/3):239-249; 34 ref

Fiogbe ED, Kestemont P, Micha JC, Melard C, 1995. Comparative growth of Perca fluviatilis larvae fed with enriched or standard Artemia metanaupli, frozen Artemia nauplii or dry food. In: Larvi ‘95, Fish and Shellfish Larviculture Symposium. Lavens P, Jaspers E, Roelands I, eds. EAS Special Publication, 24:166-169

Fishbase, 2004. Species summary Entry for Perca fluviatilis. Main ref. Kottelat M, 1997. European freshwater fishes. Biologia 52, Suppl. 5:1-271. Online at Accessed 25/02/2004

Froese R, Pauly D, 2011. FishBase.

Hergenrader GL, 1969. Spawning behaviour of perca flavescens in aquaria. Copeia, 1969:839-841

ISSG, 2011. Global Invasive Species Database (GISD). Invasive Species Specialist Group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission.

Kestemont P, Melard C, 2000. Aquaculture. In: Craig JF, ed. Percid fishes. London, UK: Blackwell Scientific Publishers, 191-224

Kestemont P, Vandeloise E, Mélard C, Fontaine P, Brown PB, 2001. Growth and nutritional status of Eurasian perch Perca fluviatilis fed graded levels of dietary lipids with or without added ethoxyquin. Aquaculture, 203(1/2):85-99

Kucharczyk D, Kujawa R, Mamcarz A, 1996. New experimental incubation unit for eggs of the perch Perca fluviatilis. Progressive Fish-Culturist, 58(4):281-283

Kucharczyk D, Kujawa R, Mamcarz A, Skrzypczak A, Wyszomirska E, 1996. Induced spawning in perch, Perca fluviatilis L., using carp pituitary extract and HCG. Aquaculture Research, 27(11):847-852

Lindesjöö E, 1994. Temporal variation and sexual dimorphism of the skin of perch Perca fluviatilis L.: a morphological study. Journal of Applied Ichthyology, 10:154-166

Lindroth A, 1947. Time of activity of freshwater fish spermatozoa in relation to temperature. Zoologiska Bidrag fran Uppsala, 25:218-219

Melard C, Kestemont P, 1994. Diversification de la pisciculture en Region wallone. Mise au point de l’elevage intensif de nouvelles especes de consomnation et de repeuplement - cyprinides et percides. rapport de recherches a la region wallone, ULG, FUNDP, Belgium, March 1994

Piironen J, Hyvarinen H, 1983. Composition of the milt of some teleost fishes. Journal of Fish Biology, 22(3):351-361

Tamazouzt L, 1995. L’alimentation artificielle de la perche, Perca fluviatilis, en milieux confines (eau recyclee, cage flottante). PhD thesis. Nancy, France: Universite H. Poincare

Tamazouzt L, Dubois JP, Fontaine P, 1993. Current production and markets for perch in Europe. Pisciculture Française, 4(114):4-8; [4 tab., 1 fig.]

Treasurer JW, 1981. Some aspects of the reproductive biology of perch Perca fluviatilis L. Fecundity, maturation and spawning behaviour. Journal of Fish Biology, 18(6):729-740

Xu XL, Fontaine P, Melard C, Kestemont P, 2000. Effects of different dietary fat levels on growth, feed efficiency, lipid composition and histological changes of Eurasian perch Perca fluviatilis. In: Aqua 2000, Nice: France, p. 758

Distribution References

CABI, Undated. CABI Compendium: Status as determined by CABI editor. Wallingford, UK: CABI

DAISIE, 2011. European Invasive Alien Species Gateway. In: European Invasive Alien Species Gateway,

Fishbase, 2004. Species summary Entry for Perca fluviatilis. Main ref. Kottelat M, 1997. European freshwater fishes. In: Biologia, 52 (5) 1-271.

Froese R, Pauly D, 2011. FishBase. In: FishBase,

Distribution Maps

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