The Eurasian ruffe is a small, but aggressive member of the perch family. Because of its high growth rate, reproductive success, and ability to adapt to a wide range of environments, it is considered a serious threat to both aquatic environments and commercial and sport fishing industries. Species Description The Eurasian ruffe has a small, deep, compressed body that is usually 4-6 inches in length and rarely exceeds 10 inches. It resembles a yellow perch, but lacks head scales and has the markings of a walleye. Coloration is green-brown above with dark patches on lighter brown sides. The body is slimy when handled, and it has sharp spines on the dorsal fin and gill covers, making it very undesirable to predators. Native & Introduced Ranges Native to the fresh and brackish water areas of Eurasia, the Eurasian ruffe was introduced into Lake Superior in the mid-1980s. It most likely escaped during the release of ballast water carried by ships. Since its introduction, the ruffe has rapidly increased in the St. Louis River at Duluth, Minnesota and continues to spread throughout the upper Great Lakes. Because ballast water is also likely responsible for the ruffe’s movement from lake to lake, expansion into the lower Great Lakes is likely. eurasian ruff
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