Yellow Perch, Perca flavescens

yellow perch


The yellow perch has a deep, laterally compressed body.  Its colouration is very distinct with an olive to brown back, yellowish sides, and 6 - 8 dark triangular vertical bars.  Its belly is cream to white and the pelvic, pectoral, and anal fins are pale to bright orange.  The yellow perch has two dorsal fins that are not continuos and the first is spiny rayed.  Spines are also present on the pectoral anal fins, and opercula tip.  The lateral line is slightly curved upward and has 51 - 61 scales over its length.  The average size of the yellow perch is 4 - 10 inches, but can attain sizes greater than 12 inches.


The yellow perch is a schooling fish that lives in lakes and rivers, where it prefers vegetated areas of open waters.Yellow perch eat a variety of items depending on the size of the fish.  They will take prey from both the bottom and surface of the water.  Prey items include plankton, aquatic insects, molluscs, and small fishes. The yellow perch spawn May through early June in shallow water.  The female releases a long gelatinous string of semi-bouyant eggs, which float in the vegetation.  There is no parental care for the eggs or young.  The schooling yellow perch can be abundant making it a prime target for larger game fish such as smallmouth bass, chain pickerel, and muskellunge.  The large schools make this a fun species to angle for and is often angled during the summer and through the ice for food.

yellow perch