Rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus) - Introduced/Close Neighbor

Male rudd.

Rudd have not yet been found in Connecticut, but established populations exist in neighboring states. Noel M. Burkhead USGS photo.

Identification. Similar to golden shiner. Deep-bodied. No conspicuous markings. Downward curved lateral line. Dorsal fin rays 9-11. Anal rays 10-12. Keel between pelvic fins and anus scaled. Adults silvery, gold or copper-colored with orange to reddish fins.

Size. Commonly 10 to 12 inches. Max. reported size 20 inches.

Distribution. Widely distributed from Europe to middle Asia. Introduced to areas of the Central and Northeastern United States. Rudd have not yet been found in Connecticut waters, but self-sustaining populations have been discovered in both New York and Massachusetts. At least one instance of rudd occurring in a Connecticut bait store (mixed in with golden shiners) has been reliably reported.

Habits. Prefer slow-moving waters of rivers and lakes with at least moderate amounts of vegetation. Pollution tolerant. Can be caught by angling with bait.

Comments. Most rudd found in this country were probably introduced through bait bucket releases. Rudd are superficially similar to golden shiners and can be mistakenly imported with them by bait dealers. For this reason, rudd populations may soon become established in Connecticut. There is concern that they may negatively impact other fish populations.


Text and images adapted from Jacobs, R. P., O'Donnell, E. B., and Connecticut DEEP. (2009). A Pictorial Guide to Freshwater Fishes of Connecticut. Hartford, CT. Available for purchase at the DEEP Store.