Distribution in the local
Baldcoot Lake, Balfour Lake,
Baptiste Lake, Bark Lake, Batelle Lake, Bell Rapids
Lake, Bird Lake, Buck Lake, Cannon Lake, Derry Lake,
Diamond Lake, Faraday Lake, Gin Lake, Horse Lake, Hound
Lake, Kamaniskeg Lake, Limerick Lake, Little Coot Lake,
Lower Paudash Lake, Mallard Lake, Mayo Lake, McKenzie
Lake, Stringer Lake, Tait Lake, Watt Lake, Weslemkoon
Lake, Wollaston Lake,
Perca, an early Greek name for
flavescens, from the Latin, "becoming gold colored"
Common name from its yellowish coloration
Other common names include: American Perch, Bandit Fish,
Calico Bass, Convict, Coon Perch, Coontail, Eisenhower,
Jack Perch, Lake Perch, Raccoon Perch, Red Perch, Redfin,
Redfin Trout, Ring-tail Perch, Ringed Perch, River Perch,
Sand Perch, Striped Perch
Phylum Chordata, animals with a spinal chord
Subphylum Vertebrata, animals with a backbone
Superclass Osteichthyes, bony fishes
Class Actinopterygii, ray-finned and spiny rayed fishes
Order Perciformes, the perch-like fishes
Family Percidae, the true perches
Genus Perca, the yellow perches
A hardy, adaptable fish found
in almost all lakes.
6-16 ounces; adult females generally
larger than adult males of the same age.
back bright green to dark olive
green to golden brown
sides bright yellow, yellow-green, to brassy green with
the color of the back extending down in seven dark,
tapering, vertical bars.
belly lighter, grey to milky-white
colours of spawning males more intense, with bright
orange-red fins and generally brighter in color.
lateral line of 57-62 scales
dorsal fin of 12-13 soft rays
anal fin of 7-8 rays
two well separated dorsal fins, the first spiny-rayed
and the second softrayed
slightly concave above the eyes;
giving a somewhat humpbacked appearance.
no canine teeth on the jaws or roof of the mouth.
cheeks covered with 8-10 rows of extended scales.
Distinguished as a perch by
its two well separated dorsal fins, the first spiny-rayed
and the second softrayed.
Distinguished from other native perch by the tapering
bars on its side.
Primarily a lake fish, though
also found in ponds, slow moving streams, and rivers
where they tend to be much smaller. Not present in large
numbers in flowing waters.
Prefer cool, clear water, though quite adaptable, tolerating
low winter oxygen levels better than many other native
fish species. (Though still susceptible to winterkill).
Prefer water temperatures of 65º to 70º F.
Usually at depths less than 30' but found in waters
as much as 150' deep. Larger fish tend to prefer the
deeper regions of lakes, leaving the shorelines to smaller
During different seasons, they prefer different areas
of the lake. In spring, bottom structures such as rock
piles and bottom drop-offs; in summer, outside edges
of submerged vegetation; in fall prominent land points
with bottom structures; and in winter, they stay over
the flat bottom reaches near bottom structures.
Strictly carnivorous, consuming
small fishes, aquatic insects, crayfish, and snails.
Feed by sight and therefore need light to find prey.
They feed throughout the daylight hours in deep water
but often move into the shallows during evening to feed
on schools of minnows. Midgefly larvae and both the
immature and adult stages of mayflies often comprise
a large part of their diet. They may feed off and on
throughout the day, but have two peak feeding times;
once in the morning and once in the afternoon.
A recent study reported Yellow Perch showed a positive
growth response in the presence of zebra mussels. Zebra
mussels increase the biomass of benthic invertebrates
which juvenile and adult yellow perch feed on, therefore
improve the growth of the fish.
Young eat zooplankton, other aquatic invertebrates,
and insects. As they become adults, they consume less
zooplankton, and more things such as insects, snails,
crayfish and fish eggs. Yellow perch are also piscivorous
preferring shiners and minnows. They also eat smelt,
trout-perch, and even juvenile yellow perch.
In turn, Yellow Perch is, in the ecology of many rivers
and lakes, of inestimable value as the prey of larger
Although the yellow perch is
not a fierce fighter when hooked, it is a popular panfish
and good eating. Perch seldom reach large sizes, the
average being l/4 to 3/4-pound fish of 6 to 10 inches.
Easily caught on natural bait, flies, and small spinners,
they are often the mainstay of ice fishermen using jigs
and small minnows. In addition, the yellow perch ranks
right along with the various sunfishes as being the
impatient young angler's old standby.
Valuable as a commercial fish and game fish, caught
by anglers on minnows, worms, or cut fish as bait.
A mainstay of the lower Great Lakes commercial fishery,
particularly on Lake Erie, but never figuring highly
in Lake Superior's commercial catch.
once a year in early spring, shortly after ice-out,
usually at night or early morning, with water temperatures
of 45º to 55º F. Spawning closely follows
that of Walleyes and often coincides with that of suckers.
Random spawners, they do not build nests. Instead, the
female deposits a long, flat, ribbon-like, amber colored
mass of eggs. This strand of eggs is fully formed in
the ovary and is covered with a thick mucilaginous sheath.
The sheath protects the eggs from infection and predation.
Depending on the size, a female may produce anywhere
from 10,000 to 40,000 eggs.
Eggs are deposited over a variety of substrates such
as sand bars, submerged vegetation, fallen branches,
or other debris in the water. As the female deposits
the eggs, she is followed by 2-25 males who fertilize
them. After fertilization, they swell and the string
of eggs can become up to 8' long. Many egg masses are
eaten by other fishes, washed up on shore, or stranded
by low water. Surviving eggs hatch in 12-21 days, depending
on water temperature. There is no parental care of eggs
or fry once they hatch.
Young perch school in or near weedy areas where food
is abundant. Slow swimmers when young, they must depend
upon aquatic plants for cover. Heavy predation from
most fish-eating fishes and birds is common.
Young reach about 3" in their first summer.