Perch ©Jack Perks


Scientific name: Perca fluviatilis
With tiger-like stripes, red fins and a humped back, the perch is a striking fish. It can be seen in lowland waterbodies and waterways across the UK, often in shoals.

Species information


Length: up to 25cm
Weight: up to 2.8kg
Average Lifespan: 10-12 years

Conservation status


When to see

January to December


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.


Found throughout the country, but rarer in northern Scotland.

Did you know?

Female perch may lay up to 300,000 eggs.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts work with planners, water companies, landowners, statutory bodies and anglers to help make our waterways and waterbodies as good for wildlife as they are for people. By working together, we can create Living Landscapes: networks of habitats stretching across town and country that allow wildlife to move about freely and people to enjoy the benefits of nature. Support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.