Yellow Perch

Perca flavescens

The Yellow Perch is a long fish for its size, growing up to 15 inches long. A large one can weigh over four pounds, but they are usually much smaller.

The Yellow Perch is yellowish in color, with five to eight dark bars going from its back almost to its belly. Its fins are olive colored, except for its pelvic (chest) fins, which are orange or red.

The Native Fish Conservancy

This fish lives in ponds, lakes, and streams. They need water with lots of vegetation (plants).

Yellow Perch often school (group together), especially in deep water. They come into shallow water to feed at dawn and dusk.

In the summer, Yellow Perch spend more time in shallow water than any other time of year.

Yellow Perch spawn (mate) in early Spring. Females lay eggs in strands (up to 40,000). They tend to attach the strands to underwater plants or sticks.

Soon after the female has laid the eggs, several males will come along and fertilize them. Then the eggs swell up and the egg strand may be eight feet long!

Yellow Perch do not care for their eggs or young.

The Native Fish Conservancy

Young Yellow Perch hatch from their eggs about three weeks after they were laid. They usually stick to shallow water around vegetation until they are bigger.

Young Yellow Perch eat mostly algae and plankton. As they get older, they will begin eating aquatic insects.

Larger Yellow Perch eat small fish, insects, crayfish, snails, mussels, leeches, fish eggs, and worms. Sometimes they eat other Yellow Perch.

Predators of Yellow Perch include larger fish, such as Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Black Crappie, Channel Catfish, Chain Pickerel, Walleye, Bluegill and other sunfish. Birds, including herons, gulls, eagles, hawks, kingfishers, and mergansers eat them as well.

Other fish-eating animals, such as turtles and bullfrogs may also take a Yellow Perch.

Yellow Perch stay active throughout the winter.

Additional Media

Description
Type
Credit
Yellow Perch Swimming #1
Video
Mark Moran
Yellow Perch Swimming #2
Video
Mark Moran
Yellow Perch Swimming #3
Video
Mark Moran
Yellow Perch Swimming #4 LARGE!
Video (Long download, approx 1 minute on T1)
Mark Moran
Yellow Perch Investigating Earthworm #1
Video
Mark Moran
Yellow Perch Investigating Earthworm #2
Video
Mark Moran
Yellow Perch Investigating Earthworm #3
Video
Mark Moran

Relationships in Nature:

PREY/FOOD
PREDATORS
SHELTER
OTHER

Creek Chub

Great Blue Heron

Yellow Pond Lily

Common Carp EC

Bluegill

Belted Kingfisher

Common Duckweed

Beaver SP

Largemouth Bass

Channel Catfish

Common Cattail

The Big Red Worm Pa

Black Crappie

Largemouth Bass

Pickerelweed

Golden Shiner

Ring-billed Gull

Common Reed

Channel Catfish

Bluegill

Long-leaf Pondweed

Tesselated Darter

Black Crappie

Green Algae

Crayfish

Double-crested Cormorant

Hydrilla

Green Darner

Bullfrog

Marsh Bulrush

Eastern Dobsonfly

Common Snapping Turtle

Asian Tiger Mosquito

Yellow Perch

Black Crappie

Eastern Newt

Eastern Lamp Mussel

Large Diving Beetle

Freshwater Leech

Golden Shiner

Yellow Perch

Eastern Painted Turtle

Earthworm

Northern Water Snake

Eastern Newt

Yellow Bullhead

Tesselated Darter

Eastern Mosquitofish

Large Diving Beetle

Bald Eagle

Aquatic Worm

American Eel

Relationship to Humans:

Many people eat Yellow Perch, and they are a favorite among fishermen. Most people use worms or minnows to try to catch them. Yellow Perch also help people by controlling populations of other fish and aquatic animals.

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

KINGDOM
Animal
PHYLUM
Chordate
CLASS
Bony Fish
ORDER
Perciformes
FAMILY
Percidae
GENUS
Perca
SPECIES
Perca flavescens

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