Flatfishes, sunfishes, and perchlike fishes

Click to Enlarge Yellow Perch
Perca flavescens


To 15" (38 cm); 4 1/4 lbs (1.9 kg). Oblong, moderately compressed; brassy green to golden yellow above with 5-8 dusky bars across back almost to belly. Mouth extends to middle of eye; no canine teeth; preopercle serrate. Dorsal and caudal fins dusky to olive; pelvic and anal fins light grayish green to reddish orange; dorsal fins separate; 2 anal fin spines, 6-8 soft rays. Lateral line complete, 53-59 scales; cheek and opercle scaled.


Open areas in streams, lakes, ponds, and reservoirs with clear water and aquatic vegetation.


From Nova Scotia to Alberta; Great Slave Lake south to Montana. Atlantic Coast from St. Lawrence River drainage south to South Carolina; Great Lakes drainage; south in Mississippi River drainage to Missouri; Gulf drainages of W. Florida and extreme S. Alabama. Introduced outside native range.


The Yellow Perch lives in schools in deep water, and moves into shallower areas to feed at dawn and dusk. It is a sport and food fish and is harvested commercially in parts of Canada and the Great Lakes. Anglers use minnows, worms, and other fishes as live bait.