Common name(s): perch, lake perch, American perch, ringed perch, striped perch
Scientific name: Perca flavescens (Perca means "dusky"; flavescens
means "becoming gold colored")
Description: Yellow with six or more dark vertical bars on side; lower fins orange or red;
different from walleye due to absence of canine teeth on lower jaw. Perch feel rough to the touch because
they have ctenoid scales (scales that have fine teeth on their exposed edges).
The yellow perch is closely related to the European perch and is the often referred to as the little cousin of the
walleye and sauger. It lives in most fresh waters along the eastern Atlantic seaboard, south to the Carolinas,
the Great Lakes region, and the Mississippi Valley. They prefer lakes but they also live in creeks and rivers.
- Length: 6 to 10 inches ( 1- to 2-pound jumbos measure 13 inches or more in length)
- Weight: 6 to 16 oz. (world record: 4 lbs - 3 oz.)
- Coloring:bright green to olive to
golden brown on back; yellow-green, yellow on sides; grey to milk-white below.
Spawning: Spawning normally occurs shortly after ice-out in April or
early May at water temperatures of 45-52ºF. Yellow perch
spawning closely follows that of walleyes and often coincides
with that of suckers. Yellow perch are random spawners, and
do not construct nests, nor do they guard their eggs and their young.
Angling: Yellow perch are day feeders and are primarily bottom feeders with a
slow deliberate bite. They eat almost anything, but prefer minnows, insect larvae,
plankton, and worms. Tackle may range from a simple handline or a fly rod in summer
to a short, whippy, jigging rod in winter. Because perch prefer cooler water, the best
fishing is usually in deep water. Perch move about in schools, often
numbering in the hundreds. If one spot is unproductive after a few tries, it is best
to move to other spots until a school is located.
Though capable of adapting to a variety of habitats and water temperatures, yellow perch school near shore, usually at depths less
than 30 feet. They feed in the morning and evening, rest on the bottom at night and continue feeding year-round -- to the
gratification of ice fishermen. Perch are not scrappy adversaries like trout, but these
full-bodied, large-finned panfish are a favorite and relatively easy target for breakwater
In addition to their delectable flesh, what endears yellow perch to anglers is that they run in schools and are eager biters. You
can litererally catch them in bunches. Best baits are minnows, worms, small crayfish, insects, insect larvae, small
flies, ice spoons and small jigs.
Perch are especially esteemed for their flesh that is white, flaky and delicious.