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Yellow Perch Perca flavescens


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Yellow Perch
credit: USDA

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Family: Percidae, Perches and Darters view all from this family

Description The yellow perch (Perca flavescens) is a species of perch found in the United States and Canada, where it is often referred to by the shortform perch. Yellow perch look similar to the European perch, but are paler and more yellowish, with less red in the fins. They have six to eight dark, vertical bars on their sides. The yellow perch is in the same family as the walleye and sauger, but in a different family from the white perch. Yellow perch size can vary greatly between bodies of water, but adults are usually between four and 10 inches (10-25.5 cm) in length. The perch can live for up to 11 years, and older perch are often much larger than average; the maximum recorded length is 21.0 inches (53.3 cm) and the largest recorded weight is 4.2 lb (1.91 kg). Large yellow perch are often called "jumbo perch" or "jack perch".

Yellow perch reach sexual maturity at one to three years of age for males and two to three years of age for females. Spawning occurs at the end of April or beginning of May; females deposit 10,000 to 40,000 eggs upon weeds, or the branches of trees or shrubs that have become immersed in the water. After fertilization, the eggs hatch in 11 to 27 days, depending on temperature and other weather conditions.

Dimensions Up to 15" (38 cm); 4 1/4 lbs (1.9 kg).

Habitat Rivers & streams, Lakes & ponds.

Range Plains, Great Lakes, New England, Mid-Atlantic, Rocky Mountains, Southeast, Florida, Northwest, Eastern Canada, Western Canada, Alaska.