Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Perca fluviatilis



Perca fluviatilis (perch)


  • Last modified
  • 06 November 2018
  • 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, ...

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

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes


AfghanistanPresentNativeFishbase, 2004
ArmeniaPresentNativeFishbase, 2004
AzerbaijanPresentNativeFishbase, 2004
ChinaPresentIntroducedFishbase, 2004
Georgia (Republic of)PresentNativeFishbase, 2004
IranPresentNativeFishbase, 2004
KazakhstanPresentNativeFishbase, 2004
MongoliaPresentNativeFishbase, 2004
TurkeyPresentNativeFishbase, 2004
UzbekistanPresentNativeFishbase, 2004


MoroccoPresentIntroducedFishbase, 2004
South AfricaPresentIntroducedFishbase, 2004


AlbaniaPresentNativeFishbase, 2004
AustriaPresentNativeFishbase, 2004
BelgiumPresentNativeFishbase, 2004
Bosnia-HercegovinaPresentNativeFishbase, 2004
BulgariaPresentNativeFroese and Pauly, 2011
CroatiaPresentNativeFroese and Pauly, 2011
CyprusPresentIntroducedFishbase, 2004
Czech RepublicPresentNativeFishbase, 2004
DenmarkPresentNativeFishbase, 2004
EstoniaPresentNativeFishbase, 2004
FinlandPresentNativeFishbase, 2004
FrancePresentNativeFishbase, 2004
GermanyPresentNativeFishbase, 2004
GreecePresentNativeFroese and Pauly, 2011
HungaryPresentNativeFishbase, 2004
IrelandPresentNativeFishbase, 2004; DAISIE, 2011
ItalyPresentIntroducedFishbase, 2004
LatviaPresentNativeFishbase, 2004
LiechtensteinPresentNativeFishbase, 2004
LithuaniaPresentNativeFishbase, 2004
LuxembourgPresentNativeFishbase, 2004
MoldovaPresentNativeFroese and Pauly, 2011
MontenegroPresentNativeFroese and Pauly, 2011
NetherlandsPresentNativeFishbase, 2004
NorwayPresentNativeFishbase, 2004
PolandPresentNativeFishbase, 2004
PortugalPresentIntroducedFroese and Pauly, 2011
-AzoresPresentIntroducedDAISIE, 2011; Froese and Pauly, 2011Established
RomaniaPresentNativeFishbase, 2004
Russian FederationPresentNativeFishbase, 2004; DAISIE, 2011
SlovakiaPresentNativeFishbase, 2004
SloveniaPresentNativeFroese and Pauly, 2011
SpainPresentIntroducedFishbase, 2004
SwedenPresentNativeFishbase, 2004
SwitzerlandPresentNativeFishbase, 2004
UKPresentNativeFishbase, 2004
UkrainePresentNativeFishbase, 2004
Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)PresentNativeFishbase, 2004


AustraliaPresentIntroducedFishbase, 2004
New ZealandPresentIntroducedFishbase, 2004


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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 DIAS (2004)
China 1970-1979 Unknown Yes
Cyprus UK 1971 Hunting, angling, sport or racing (pathway cause)Unknown Yes DIAS (2004)
Ireland UK 1700-1799 Hunting, angling, sport or racing (pathway cause)Individual Yes DIAS (2004)
Italy 1860 Unknown Yes
Morocco Switzerland 1939 Hunting, angling, sport or racing (pathway cause)Unknown Yes DIAS (2004)
New Zealand Australia 1867 Unknown Yes
South Africa UK 1915 Hunting, angling, sport or racing (pathway cause)Unknown Yes DIAS (2004)
Spain Unknown Yes DIAS (2004)
Turkey Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown Yes DIAS (2004)

Habitat List

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Lakes Present, no further details
Rivers / streams Present, no further details
Ponds Present, no further details
Estuaries Present, no further details

Natural Food Sources

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Food SourceLife 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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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 Maps

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