Fish Profile: Yellow Perch


Yellow Perch are long and skinny fish who don’t get too big. They are usually either green or yellow in colour with about seven dark green vertical bars running along its body. They have two separate dorsal fins so that is one way you can identify them as being a part of the perch family. The pelvic fins are located right behind their pectoral fins and are orange. These fish aren’t big fish but in some lakes they can get over a pound which is still small but these fish swim in schools so you can catch more than one to make a meal out of it.

Yellow Perch live mostly in lakes with clear water. They like water temperatures to be warm but not too warm. When it heats up, they go to the cooler deeper water. They like to live amongst vegetation and in the shallows during the summer and in the winter they go deeper. They range across Canada from New Brunswick to British Columbia.

Yellow Perch eat insects, other fish, worms, and vegetation. They feed at most when it is light out because they can’t see as well in low light situations. Their mouths are made so that they can easily feed on things on the bottom of a lake. They have small teeth so they can eat other fish but only small ones. Other animals also eat them including largemouth bass, and great blue heron.

Yellow Perch mature at the age of 2 or 3. They spawn in early spring in the shallow water. The female perch lays her eggs and they attach to sticks and other small structures. The average amount of eggs released by the female is 23000 eggs. Once the eggs are fertilized, they take about three weeks to hatch. Perch don’t take care of the offspring or the eggs while they are waiting to hatch. Once the eggs hatch, the offspring don’t go to deeper water until they are big enough. Yellow perch only live to be about seven years old so they don’t have long lifespans.

Many fishermen enjoy catching these fish because they are one of the tastiest freshwater fish in North America. They are often fished for when ice fishing because in the winter they swim in large schools in deep water so ice fishermen can catch them in mass numbers.


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