Tinca tinca

Common Name(s)





Lakes, ponds and slow flowing areas of large rivers.


A medium size, stocky fish, tench are a distinctive deep olive green in colour with brick orange eyes, small scales and a single pair of barbels.

Similar Species

Unlikely to be confused with other species present in New Zealand.

Threat To Plants

The impacts of tench in New Zealand are virtually unstudied but they are likely to uproot aquatic macrophytes while bottom feeding and increase water turbidity levels, which in turn can inhibit rooted macrophyte growth and contribute to algal growth.


Widespread in Auckland and Northland, known populations also exist in Waikato, Wellington, Nelson, Canterbury and Oamaru.


Weight: normally <3kg; body length: normally <50cm

Year Introduced


Reason For Introduction

Sports fishing

Colonisation History

After an attempted introduction in 1864 in which no fish survived the journey from Europe, subsequent successful imports and releases of this species were made in 1867 and 1868. Apparently there was little interest in this species for around 100 years, until, in the 1960s they were illegally introduced into multiple waterways around the North Island for the purposes of creating coarse fisheries.

Control Options

Trapping, pond drainage, cube root powder.