Perca fluviatilis

Common Name(s)





Still to slow flowing water, found in lakes, ponds, streams and rivers.


Perch are a moderately sized, deep bodied fish with large scales and robust, sharp fins. The lower fins of perch are bright red and their bodies are green in colour, with vertical dark bands running down their sides—these bands are most prominent in juveniles but still discernable in large adults.

Similar Species

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

Threat To Plants

Juvenile perch feed voraciously on zooplankton, which can result in runaway growth of phytoplankton populations.


Widespread throughout New Zealand.


Weight: normally <2kg; body length: normally <40 cm

Year Introduced


Reason For Introduction

Sports fishing.

Colonisation History

Perch are a European fish but the perch in New Zealand was introduced from stocks in Tasmania and Victoria. The first attempt at transport from Tasmania was unsuccessful but subsequent attempts resulted in successful importations of perch in 1868, 1870 and 1877. Perch were liberated throughout the eastern South Island, on the west coast and in Wellington, Whanganui and Taranaki. The presence of large numbers of small bodied native fish as prey combined with a virtual absence of predators meant that perch populations quickly established and this species soon became common.

Control Options

Netting, pond drainage, cube root powder.