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Common name: Rudd
Botanical name: Scardinius erythrophthalmus
Management programme: Exclusion and Progressive Containment

Where are they originally from?

Rudd are native to Europe, Russia and Asia. They were illegally imported to New Zealand in 1967, were deliberately released into the Waikato and have since been progressively released throughout the North Island.

Why are they a pest?

  • Rudd are often referred to as the ‘possums of the waterways’.
  • Rudd feeding habits endanger native plant species, destroy indigenous habitat, remove food sources for native fish and invertebrate species, and reduce water quality by stirring up sediments and muddying the water.
  • They are very efficient breeders with females able to produce up to 50,000 eggs per kilogram of body weight.
  • Rudd can consume up to 40% of their body weight in vegetation per day, as much as 80% of which is discharged as waste, releasing nutrients into the water.

Where are they found?

  • Rudd can be found in ponds, lakes, and slow flowing streams.
  • Rudd have been spread deliberately throughout the North Island.
  • There are historic Rudd sites in the western Bay of Plenty such as Lake McLaren. More recently, this fish has not been identified in the region.

What do they look like?

  • A stocky, deep bodied fish with a similar appearance to goldfish, distinctive red fins and large, shiny scales that range from silver to pale orange in colour.
  • Rudd will normally grow to about 25cm in length and weigh about 500g

What are the rules?


Where Rudd is an Exclusion pest, this means it is not yet established in this area of the Bay of Plenty region. Bay of Plenty Regional Council is responsible for managing new incursions into the region.

Progressive Containment

Progressive Containment species are pests which the Council aims to prevent from spreading, reduce the distribution, or eradicate within parts of the region over time. Landowners or occupiers are responsible for the control of Progressive Containment species on their property. Council may enforce the control of these pest species.

How do you get rid of it?

Controlling pest fish is very difficult and should not be attempted without expert advice. If you think you have found Rudd, please contact the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.