Common name: Roach
Scientific name: Rutilus rutilus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Family: Cyprinidae
Order: Cypriniformes
Class: Actinopterygii
Irish name: RĂ³iste
Irish angling record: 1.425kg (2002, Drumacritten Lake)
Native species: No, introduced into Cork Blackwater in 1889 by angler from England 5;
Hybrids: Roach-Bream; Rudd-Roach

Identifying features

Mouth inferior; dorsal fin noticeably large, with its origin over the insertion of the pelvic fins; Anal fin short, with 9-12 branched rays (excluding the unbranched ray at the leading edge of the fin and the short rays fused with it). 40-46 scales along lateral line; blue on the back, silvery on the sides (sometimes with a bronze lustre in big fish); dorsal, brownish red; pelvics, anal and tailfin red; now spreading through most major river systems4.

Environment and Habitat

Occur on the bottom or midwaters of a water body; migrate within freshwater only1;inhabits lowland lakes, ponds and rivers of moderate flow; can survive in moderately polluted waters; growth is dependant on food availability; in suitable conditions can live to be 12 years old2.

European distribution

Widespread across Europe; found in most Irish waters; one of the most important coarse angling species in Ireland.

Economic value in Ireland

Valuable for coarse angling tourism;

Red list status

Least concern.

Irish legislation status

Protected by Coarse Fish bye-law No. 806, 2006: maximum 4 fish per angler per day; no killing of coarse fish > 25cm.

EU legislation status