Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens)

Yellow Perch

Yellow Perch, U.S.D.A.

Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens)

The yellow perch has a yellow to brass-colored body with a distinct pattern of 5-9 olive-green, vertical, triangular stripes on its sides. Its fins are lighter in color with orange margins. The anterior portion of the body tapers to a slender caudal peduncle. Yellow perch have two dorsal fins and a forked caudal fin.

They spawn in the spring at night when water temperatures are between 2.0 and 18.6°C. Eggs are fertilized externally. Egg strands are commonly draped over submerged vegetation. Yellow perch are found in shallow water such as shorelines of lakes and slow-moving rivers and streams where the water is clear and cool. In summer, as the water warms, perch seek deeper, cooler water. Trout populations suffer in lakes where perch have been introduced since they cannot compete successfully for food.

Yellow perch are an important food source for birds such as double-crested cormorants, eagles, hawks, herons, kingfishers, mergansers, loons and white pelicans.