Yellow Perch

Perca flavescens

Picture of a yellow perch in a fishtank

Image by Robert Colletta from U.S Department of Agriculture

Physical: The yellow perch has two dorsal fins, one spiny and one soft, as well as yellow sides and seven black vertical stripes. On average, they grow to about 7.5 in (19.1 cm), though this depends on local population density.

Habitat: Their native range covers the Atlantic and Arctic Ocean, across the Great Lakes and Midwest into Ohio and Illinois, and down into South Carolina on the coast. They can be found in ponds, lakes, creek pools and slow-moving rivers. They prefer clear water with vegetation, and sometimes are present in brackish water. Since they’re a popular sport fish, yellow perch have been introduced to many other waterways for fishing.

Feeding: Yellow perch eat insects, aquatic invertebrates, and small fish.

Breeding: Spawn between February and July. Females lay eggs in long ribbons in vegetation or wood debris, and groups of males will come to fertilize the eggs. Because their larvae are often eaten by other fish, they produce a lot of eggs to compensate.

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