Perca fluviatilis


The perch is a medium-sized fish with a characteristic humped shape. A predator, the perch feeds on invertebrates, crayfish and other fish. It lives in large ponds, lakes, reservoirs, canals and lowland rivers, and is often seen in shoals. Spawning takes place in April; the females produce sticky bands of eggs which they wrap around vegetation and rocks, ready for the male to fertilise them. After about three weeks, the young hatch and feed on the yolk sac until it is finished.

How to identify

The perch is a greenish fish with dark, tiger stripes, a large spiny dorsal fin, red pectoral and anal fins and a red tail.

Where to find it

Found throughout the country, although rarer in north of Scotland.

When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

To help to look after perch and other fish species, The Wildlife Trusts work with landowners, statutory bodies, water companies and other organisations to help manage river and wetland habitats sympathetically. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife happenings, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and be helping local wildlife along the way.

Species information

Common name
Latin name
Perca fluviatilis
Freshwater fish
Length: up to 25cm Weight: 250-750g but up to 4kg Average Lifespan: 10-13 years
Conservation status