Scientifically named scardinius erythrophthalmus, the common Rudd is as invasive species of fish that is native to Europe. Due to its invasive nature the fish has spread to Asia, the UK, USA, Canada and other parts of the planet. This type of fish is found in slow moving or still waters, what makes them dangerous to the ecosystem is they can survive anywhere and just like all other invasive species they multiply extremely first. They have been noted as good bait used by guides when targeting sturgeon in British Columbia. If you do happen to visit BC make sure you check out Seabreeze Whale Watching Adventures.
Understand that it is illegal to contribute to the spread of invasive species, you see most invasive species are spread by the actions of man e.g. when you take live fish from one place and release it in another or when you dispose off unwanted live minnows.
How to identify Rudd
The easiest way to identify Rudd is to look at their eyes; their eyes are yellow in colour and have a big red spot above the pupil. The mouth of the fish is upturned; this is an adaptation that allows it to feed easily at the surface of the water.
Rudd closely resembles another type of fish known as the roach. The dorsal fin is placed close to the rear and its skin is yellowish green, there is another variety of Rudd that has a golden colour making it popular with pond keepers.
Size wise the fish never grows more than 50cm and prefers areas where the water is clear and rich in plant life.
Generally the fish has:
- a large body (in minnow standards)
- an upturned mouth
- Resembles golden shiners and measure anywhere from 10-25cm
The Female Rudd can lay up to 200,000 eggs in a single year which means that they can reproduce very fast. Understand that, Rudd can breed with a species of fish mostly found in the US known as the golden shiner; this is worsened by the fact that they are comfortable in many different ecosystems.
Rudd feed on aquatic vegetation, other small fish, insects, and when they are young they mostly feed on zoo plankton. They also mature very fast, it takes them two to three years to fully mature and can live up to seventeen years.
As mentioned above Rudd is an invasive species, this means that it is dangerous to ecosystems that it is not native to. Therefore, as a fisher man you should learn how to identify this species of fish, this will help you to contribute to efforts to stop its spread.
What happens when an invasive species is introduced to a new area is, it competes with the local species for food and sometimes they can even become parasite e.g. when they feed off other fish’s eggs. This will lead to an increase in the numbers of invasive species and a decline in the numbers of native species which is bad for the ecosystem.
If you find an invasive species in an area that it is not native to, you should contact the authorities in your area before things get out of hand.