Rutilus rutilus


Roach are small to medium-sized fish. They are a member of the carp family, and have the typical Carp shape. Roach are found in large ponds, lakes and slow-flowing rivers. One of the most common fish in lakes, they often gather in large shoals in shaded areas. They are omnivorous, feeding on invertebrates, fish eggs, plants and seeds. Roach spawn in April and June, sticking their eggs to rocks and plants which the newly hatched fish then stay attached to until they have eaten their yolk sac.

How to identify

The roach is a fairly deep-bodied, silvery fish, with dark, reddish-brown fins. Deeper-bodied than both the chub and the dace, the rudd is a very similar species so it can be hard to tell them apart, bar the upturned mouth of the latter species.

Where to find it

Found throughout the lowlands, widespread in England but rarer in Wales and Scotland.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

To help to look after roach and other fish species, The Wildlife Trusts work with landowners, statutory bodies, water companies and other organisations to help manage river and wetland habitats sympathetically. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife happenings, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and be helping local wildlife along the way.

Species information

Common name
Latin name
Rutilus rutilus
Freshwater fish
Length: 10-25cm Weight: 50-250g Average Lifespan: 8-11 years
Conservation status