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Pest Fish Identification

Several species of introduced fish superficially resemble and are often incorrectly identified as carp. These species include wild goldfish and tench, which are also members of the family Cyprinidae. Redfin perch from the family Percichthyidae are also confused with carp occasionally.

Several species of introduced fish superficially resemble and are often incorrectly identified as carp. These species include wild goldfish and tench, which are also members of the family Cyprinidae. Redfin perch from the family Percichthyidae are also confused with carp occasionally. The distinguishing features of these species are listed in the table below. For more detailed descriptions of each of these species, with photos, see the fish fact sheets.

Species

Scale
Size

Number of
Scales
BarbelsFin SpinesDorsal Fin

Carp 
(Cyprinuscarpio)

Large

~40 scales along lateral line

two
pairs

Two spines, 1 each on dorsal and anal fin dorsal fin

long base and low

Goldfish 
(Carassius auratus)

Large

~30 scales along lateral line

None

Two spines,1 each on dorsal and anal fin dorsal fin

long base and high at front

Redfin Perch
(Perca fluviatillis)

Medium

~63 scales along lateral line

None

Spiny fin rays along dorsal fin

two separate spiny dorsal fins

Tench
(Tinca tincas)

Very
Small

~100 scales along lateral line

one
pair
None

short based, high and rounded dorsal fin