Redfin, Perca fluviatilis Linnaeus 1758

Other Names: English Perch, European Perch, Reddie, Redfin Perch

Redfin, Perca fluviatilis. Source: Gunther Schmida / License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike 3.0

Redfin, a native of Europe, were first introduced to Australia as an angling fish.

Identifying features: Body pale greenish-brown to greyish, paler below, with 5-6 broad dark tapering bands along the sides, and the pelvic, anal and outer parts of the caudal fin bright red to reddish-orange. The dark bars along the sides are more pronounced in younger fish.

The species was introduced to Tasmania between 1858 and 1862, and to Victoria in 1861. Redfin are now widespread in much of New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Tasmania. They also occur in southeastern South Australia and in the southwest corner of Western Australia.

Although popular with recreational anglers, these introduced predators are not good for native fishes.

Cite this page as:
Gomon, M.F. & Bray, D.J. 2020, Perca fluviatilis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 04 Mar 2024,

Redfin, Perca fluviatilis Linnaeus 1758

More Info


Introduced from Europe to most southern states from the MacIntyre River drainage, NSW (29º48´S) to the Avon River drainage, WA (31º51´S). 

Inhabits freshwater lakes, dams, billabongs, swamps and the slower-flowing reaches of rivers and streams. Redfin prefer abundant aquatic vegetation or other cover such as rocks and fallen timber. They avoid fast-flowing waters and are absent from high-altitude areas. Their optimum temperature range is 8-27°C.

Redfin are usually solitary, and prefer areas with close to cover in rivers, although they may be pelagic in lakes. They are usually sedentary fishes living near bottom, but may undertake seasonal movements.


Dorsal fin Xlll-XVII; I-II, 13-16; Anal fin II, 8-10; Pectoral fin 11-14; Pelvic fin I,5; Lateral line scales 58-68. 

Body elongate-oval, moderately deep, robust, compressed; becoming deeper with increase in size, large fish with distinct hump-backed appearance. Dorsal profile above and behind eye concave, from nape backwards strongly convex; ventral profile flattened to slightly convex. Caudal peduncle long, slender. Head large, snout rounded. Eye of moderate size, situated high on head near dorsal profile. Mouth terminal, ventral in position, protrusible, quite large; gape extending back to below middle of eye. Jaws equal; with broad bands of small teeth. Operculum ends in a strong, broad, flat spine.

Body covered in moderate-sized ctenoid scales that extend forward to nape, opercula, cheeks; scales thick, hard, well embedded. Lateral line unbroken, conspicuous, follows dorsal profile. 

Two narrowly-separated dorsal fins, first spiny, long-based, high, rounded; second smaller, soft-rayed. Anal fin opposite, similar to, but slightly smaller than second dorsal fin. Pectoral fins small, rounded to slightly elongate, positioned low on sides, just below opercular spine. Pelvic fins small, rounded, thoracic. Caudal fin relatively small, slightly forked; tips rounded.


Reaches 60 cm and 10.4 kg; more commonly 1-3 kg.


Greenish-yellow to brown, often with blue hue, dorsally; lighter greenish to silvery laterally, white ventrally; 6 dark, vertical bars along sides; bars broadest, often bifurcated, on dorsal surface, becoming narrower ventrally. Dorsal fins greyish-green, first with prominent black spot on posterior margin; pectoral fins colourless to greyish-pink; anal and pelvic fins red to orange; caudal fin greyish to reddish.


Carnivores - adults feeding on crustaceans (such as atyid shrimps, yabbies and freshwater crayfish), insect larvae and small fish like Eastern Carp Gudgeon, Goldfish and smaller English Perch; juveniles feed on zooplankton, particularly small crustaceans such as copepods and cladocerans, and smaller fishes.


Spawns at night during late winter to early spring, when water temperatures reach 11-12°C. Females shed all their eggs amongst aquatic vegetation during a single spawning event. The eggs are laid amongst aquatic vegetation or onto submerged timber in long gelatinous ribbons or strands. Fecundity is high, with up to 200,000 eggs per female. The egg strands have numerous small openings through which water circulates. Eggs about 2.0-2.5 mm in diameter and are surrounded by thick mucous membrane. 

The time between spawning and hatching of the larvae varies considerably depending on water temperature. Larvae may hatch after 7-8 days at 14-19°C, or may take 2-3 weeks to hatch at temperatures of 8-9°C. The newly-hatched larvae are 5-8 mm long, and consume the yolk sac after several days. The fry then begin to feeding on zooplankton and disperse through the upper water column. At a length of 15-20 mm, the young perch usually gather in large schools in shallow water near the shore.

Redfin usually mature after 2-3 years, although males may mature earlier, and live to a maximum age about 10-12 years.


Although popular with recreational anglers, these introduced predators are not good for native fishes. Redfin compete for food and space with Murray Cod and Golden Perch and have been implicated in the decline of Macquarie Perch. In Western Australia, they have been implicated in the local extinction of Galaxiella munda. They also prey on newly stocked trout.

Unfortunately, Redfin have been introduced into new areas by recreational anglers, thus further threatening native fish populations.

Species Citation

Perca fluviatilis Linnaeus 1758, Systema Naturae: 289. Type locality: Europe.


Gomon, M.F. & Bray, D.J. 2020

Redfin, Perca fluviatilis Linnaeus 1758


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Lintermans, M., Raadik, T., Morgan, D. & Jackson, P. 2008. Overview of the ecology and impact of three alien fish species: Redfin perch, Mozambique mouthbrooder (Tilapia) and Oriental weatherloach. pp. 22-32 in Ansell, D. & Jackson, P. (eds) Emerging issues in alien fish management in the Murray–Darling Basin: statement, recommendations and supporting papers. Proceedings of a workshop held in Brisbane QLD, 30–31 May 2006, Publication No: 16/07, Murray–Darling Basin Commission, Canberra.

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Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37329001

Fishing:Popular angling fish

Max Size:60 cm; 10.4 kg

Max weight:Quiet freshwaters


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