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Reproduction

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Female yellow perch mature at ages two to four, males usually mature one year earlier. Spawning takes place in the spring (April through early May) when the water temperature reaches 45 - 52°F (Craig 1987; Herman 1959). The average number of eggs laid per female is 23,000. After deposition the eggs rapidly swell and harden. Eggs hatch in 8 -10 days and the emerging the fish are 4 - 7 mm in length.

Yellow perch larvae have large mouths, well-developed jaws, teeth and eyes. They begin active feeding at 7.0 mm but still absorb food from the yolk sac. At 21- 27 mm the fins are fully developed with spines and rays. The fish become fully scaled at 36-37 mm. After hatching, the larvae first appear nearshore and then become pelagic (move offshore) and remain so until their fins fully develop (Craig 1987; Fischer and Willis 1997; Walden 1964). Yellow perch are relatively short-lived fish, few over seven years old are ever caught (Herman et al 1959).

Average gestation period: 16 days.

Average number of offspring: 100000.

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Creque, S. 2000. "Perca flavescens" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Perca_flavescens.html
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Sara Creque, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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William Fink, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Behavior

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Perception Channels: tactile ; chemical

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Creque, S. 2000. "Perca flavescens" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Perca_flavescens.html
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Sara Creque, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Conservation Status

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Historic data on yellow perch are not plentiful, but commercial catch records from the Great Lakes show the perch population had regular periodic fluctuations between 1930 and 1964. Populations decreased in the 1960's but had rebounded in the early 1980's. Alewife predation and competition with yellow perch larvae is thought to be the primary reason for the drastic decline. Other factors include overfishing, competition with other exotics such as rainbow smelt, and nutrient loading, which degraded spawning grounds (Jude and Leach ; GLFC 1997; Francis et al 1996).

Yellow perch populations fell dramatically again in Lake Erie in the 1990's. The exact cause is unknown but is probably related to loss of suitable habitat (macrophyte beds), recruitment failure, zebra mussels, and competition with white perch, an exotic (GLFC 1997). The most recent decline is also occurring in the other great lakes. The average age increase and lack of young of the year perch in Lake Michigan suggests that year class failure is occurring early in the life cycle. Severe spring weather, predation by alewives, and competition with other planktivores are possible causes of post-larval perch mortality (Francis et al 1996).

Ohio closed its gillnet fishery in 1984 to protect yellow perch populations in Lake Erie. Extensive studies on yellow perch throughout its range have helped to increase understanding of what factors most affect perch populations. Interagency efforts to reduce overfishing and protect spawning perch are also being implemented (Ruetter and Hartman 1988; Francis et al 1996; GLFC 1997).

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

State of Michigan List: no special status

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Creque, S. 2000. "Perca flavescens" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Perca_flavescens.html
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Sara Creque, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Benefits

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No negative effects known.

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Creque, S. 2000. "Perca flavescens" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Perca_flavescens.html
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Sara Creque, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Benefits

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Yellow perch are economically important in terms of a food source and recreation. Yellow perch support a commercial fishery in Lake Michigan, Lake Erie, and Lake Huron. The peak commercial catch of yellow perch in Lake Erie was 13,546 tones in 1969. The 1980 - 1984 Canadian yellow perch commercial catch represented 55% of the value of all fish landed in Lake Erie by Canada (Craig 1987; GLFC 1997; Jude and Leach ). Yellow perch are also a very popular sport fish that contributes lots of tourism and recreation dollars to the economy. About 85% of the sport fish caught in Lake Michigan are yellow perch (Francis et al 1996). Sport anglers' catch in Lake Erie in 1984 was 58 times larger than the commercial catch (Ruetter and Hartman 1988).

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Creque, S. 2000. "Perca flavescens" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Perca_flavescens.html
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Trophic Strategy

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Young of the year yellow perch feed on zooplankton, then as they grow they switch to benthic macroinvertebrates and finally fish (Gerking 1994). In Lake Erie and other lakes, young of the year switch from mainly zooplankton to benthos during midsummer declines in zooplankton biomass (Post and McQueen 1994; Roseman 1996).

Yellow perch have small backward slanting teeth lining the jaws and gill rakers that strain out small pelagic food sources from the water (Herman et al 1959). Their mouth is subterminal which makes it easy for them to feed at the bottom (Parrish and Margraf 1990). Yellow perch swallow their food whole (Weatherly 1972). They switch to prey longer than 1.7 mm when they reach total lengths of 60 - 75 mm (Schneberger 1991). In large fish, the net energy gained by eating large prey, such as benthos and fish, outweighs the disadvantages of capture and digestion (Mills et al 1989).

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Creque, S. 2000. "Perca flavescens" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Perca_flavescens.html
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Distribution

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Yellow perch, Perca flavescens, are north temperate fish. They extend from west central Canada and the Hudson Bay area east to New Brunswick, down to South Carolina and west to Kansas (Clay 1975; Herman et al 1959).

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native )

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Creque, S. 2000. "Perca flavescens" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Perca_flavescens.html
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Sara Creque, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Habitat

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Yellow perch are found mainly in lakes and sometimes in impoundments of larger rivers. Clear water is important as excessive turbidity and silt could lead to death of perch. Perch do however have a high tolerance for low oxygen conditions. They inhabit water of moderate temperature, avoiding cold deep water and warm surface waters during the summer. Young perch generally inhabit shallower water than larger ones, though as temperature increases all move to cooler, deeper water (Walden 1964; Herman et al 1959).

Aquatic Biomes: lakes and ponds

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Creque, S. 2000. "Perca flavescens" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Perca_flavescens.html
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Life Expectancy

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Average lifespan
Status: captivity:
12.0 years.

Average lifespan
Status: captivity:
8.0 years.

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Creque, S. 2000. "Perca flavescens" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Perca_flavescens.html
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Morphology

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Adult yellow perch are usually golden yellow; young are usually more whitish. There are 6 -- 8 dark vertical bars on the sides of these fish. Their eyes are green to yellow. They have a spiny dorsal fin with 12 -- 14 spines and a second dorsal fin with 12-13 soft rays plus 2-3 spines (Craig 1987; Herman et al 1950). There is usually a blackish blotch on the membrane between the last 3 or 4 dorsal spines. Their anal fin has 2 spines and 7-8 soft rays. The lower fins of adults are usually tinged yellow or red; this is especially noticeable on males during breeding season. The lateral line is prominent and curved with 51-61 scales along it. Yellow perch have rough feel because they have ctenoid scales (Clay 1975; Herman et al 1959).

Adult yellow perch usually grow 10 to 25.5 cm in length, occasionally they can reach 35.6 cm, but these are older fish than most (Walden 1964; Clay 1975). There is sexual dimorphism in yellow perch. Females grow faster and reach a greater ultimate size than males. There is a 2.5 cm length difference in seven-year-old fish (Herman et al 1959; Craig 1987). The growth rate of perch varies greatly from one body of water to another. Yellow perch are particularly prone to stunting, a condition where fish are smaller in size than other fish populations in the same geographic region (Heath and Roff 1996; Herman et al 1959).

Average mass: 150 g.

Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; heterothermic ; bilateral symmetry

Average mass: 1055.25 g.

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Creque, S. 2000. "Perca flavescens" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Perca_flavescens.html
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Life Cycle

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Nonobligatory plant spawner.
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Armi G. Torres
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Threats

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Least Concern (LC)
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Susan M. Luna
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Trophic Strategy

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Inhabits lakes, ponds, pools of creeks, and rivers. Also found in brackish water and in salt lakes. Most commonly found in clear water near vegetation; tends to shoal near the shore during spring (Ref. 9988). Feeds on immature insects, larger invertebrates, fishes and fish eggs during the day. Preyed upon by fishes and birds (Ref. 1998).
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Biology

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Inhabits lakes, ponds, pools of creeks, and rivers. Also found in brackish water and in salt lakes. Most commonly found in clear water near vegetation; tends to shoal near the shore during spring (Ref. 9988, 10294). Feeds on immature insects, larger invertebrates, fishes and fish eggs during the day. Preyed upon by fishes and birds (Ref. 1998). Spawns between February and July in the northern hemisphere and between August and October in the southern hemisphere (Ref. 10999). Neither anterolateral glandular groove nor venom gland is present (Ref. 57406). Marketed fresh or frozen; eaten pan-fried, broiled or baked (Ref. 9988).
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Importance

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fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: public aquariums
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Yellow perch

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The yellow perch (Perca flavescens), commonly referred to as perch, striped perch or American perch is a freshwater perciform fish native to much of North America. The yellow perch was described in 1814 by Samuel Latham Mitchill from New York. It is closely related, and morphologically similar to the European perch (Perca fluviatilis); and is sometimes considered a subspecies of its European counterpart. Other common names for yellow perch include American perch, coontail, lake perch, raccoon perch, ring-tail perch, ringed perch, and striped perch. Another nickname for the perch is the Dodd fish.

Latitudinal variability in age, growth rates, and size have been observed among populations of yellow perch, likely resulting from differences in day length and annual water temperatures. In many populations, yellow perch often live 9 to 10 years, with adults generally ranging from 4 to 10 in (10 to 25 cm) in length.

The world record yellow perch (18 in (46 cm); 4 lb 3 oz (1.9 kg)) was caught in 1865 in New Jersey, and is the longest-standing record for freshwater fish in North America.[1]

Description

The yellow perch has a yellow and brass-colored body and distinct pattern, consisting of five to nine olive-green, vertical bars, triangular in shape, on each side. Its fins are lighter in coloration, with an orange hue on the margins. The body is laterally compressed. The anterior portion of the body is deep, gradually tapering into a slender caudal peduncle. The opercle is partially scaled, and a single spine is present on the posterior margin.

As with all percid fishes, yellow perch have two dorsal fins. The anterior is convex in shape and consists of 11–15 spines. The posterior dorsal fin has a straight margin, consisting of one or two spines and 12–16 rays. The nape, breast, and belly of yellow perch are all fully scaled. A complete lateral line (50–70 scales) is present. The anal fin consists of two spines and six to nine rays. A single spine and five rays make up the pelvic fins, and the pectoral fins consist of 13–15 rays. The caudal fin of the yellow perch is forked.

Distribution

Yellow perch are only found in North America; they are native to the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, and the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River and Mississippi River basins. In Canada, its native range extends throughout Nova Scotia and Quebec north to the Mackenzie River. It also is common in the northwest to Great Slave Lake and west into Alberta. It is not native to any other areas of Canada. In the United States, the native range extends south into Ohio and Illinois, and throughout most of the northeastern United States. It is also considered native to the Atlantic Slope basin, extending south to the Savannah River. There is also a small native population in the Dead Lakes region of the Apalachicola River system in Florida.[2]

The yellow perch has also been widely introduced for sport and commercial fishing purposes. It has also been introduced to establish a forage base for bass and walleye. These introductions were predominantly performed by the U.S. Fish Commission in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. However, unauthorized introductions have likely occurred from illegal introductions, dispersal through connected waterways, and use as live bait. Isolated populations now occur in the northwest and southwest portions of the United States. Currently, the yellow perch has not been introduced outside of North America. Introductions in Canada have been less intense than in the United States.

Biology

Yellow perch typically reach sexual maturity in 2–3 years for males and 3–4 years for females. They are iteroparous, spawning annually in the spring when water temperatures are between 2.0 and 18.6 °C (35.6 and 65.5 °F). Spawning is communal and typically occurs at night. Yellow perch are oviparous, as eggs are fertilized externally. Eggs are laid in a gelatinous strand (commonly 10,000–40,000), a characteristic unique among North American freshwater fishes. Egg strands are commonly draped over weeds, the branches of submerged trees or shrubs, or some other structure. Eggs hatch in 11–27 days, depending on temperature and other abiotic factors.[3] They are commonly found in the littoral zones of both large and small lakes, but they also inhabit slow-moving rivers and streams, brackish waters, and ponds. Yellow perch commonly reside in shallow water, but are occasionally found deeper than 15 m (49 ft) or on the bottom.[4]

In the northern waters, perch tend to live longer and grow at a slower rate. Females in general are larger, grow faster, live longer, and mature in 3-4 years compared to males, which mature in 2-3 years at a smaller size. Most research has showed the maximum age to be about 9–10 years, with a few living past 11 years. The preferred temperature range for the yellow perch is 17 to 25 °C (63 to 77 °F), with an optimum range of 21 to 24 °C (70 to 75 °F) and a lethal limit in upwards of 33 °C (91 °F) and a stress limit over 26 °C (79 °F). Yellow perch spawn once a year in spring using large schools and shallow areas of a lake or low-current tributary streams. They do not build a redd or nest. Spawning typically takes place at night or in the early morning. Females have the potential to spawn up to eight times in their lifetimes.[4]

A small aquaculture industry in the US Midwest contributes about 90,800 kg (200,200 lb) of yellow perch annually, but the aquaculture is not expanding rapidly.[4] The yellow perch is absolutely crucial to the survival of the walleye and largemouth bass in its range.[4] Cormorants feed heavily on yellow perch in early spring, but over the entire season, only 10% of their diets is perch.[5] Cormorants and anglers combined harvest 40% of 1- and 2-year-old yellow perch and 25% of the adult yellow perch population in Lake Michigan. Total annual mortality of adult yellow perch has not changed since cormorant colonization.[6]

General description

Yellow perch is often recognized by its dark vertical stripes and gold or yellow body color. Perca is derived from early Greek for "perch" and flavescens is Latin for "becoming gold" or "yellow colored". Adult sizes typically range from 3.9–11.4 in (10–30 cm); though have been known to grow larger. The yellow perch has a laterally compressed body with an oval, oblong shape. The anal fins are a green or yellow-orange, the dorsal fin is an olive color, and the belly is cream-colored. The vertical bands fade as they near the belly. Spawning intensifies the bands in males, and they can be nonexistent in juveniles. The spiny anterior dorsal fin has 13 to 15 spines. The soft rear fins also have one or two spines, but which are mostly made up of rays that range from 12 to 15 in number. The pelvic fins are close together, and the homocercal caudal fin is forked. The operculum tip has one spine, and the anal fin has two spines. Seven or eight branchiostegal rays are seen. Yellow perch have many fine and sharp teeth. They are rough to the touch because of their ctenoid scales. Common names for the perch are yellow perch, American perch, and lake perch. Yellow perch are one of the smaller-sized members of the perch family (Percidae). Due to their ability to crossbreed and their similar morphology, yellow perch are sometimes classified as a subspecies of the European perch.[4] For over 100 years, Canada and the United States have been commercially harvesting yellow perch in the Great Lakes with trapnets, gillnets, and poundnets. In Canada, the estimated catch in 2002 was 3,622 tons with a value of $16.7 million, second only to walleye at $28.2 million. The greatest demand in the United States is in the north-central region, where nearly 70% of all yellow perch sales in the US occur within 80 km (49.7 mi) of the Great Lakes. Yellow perch is one of the easiest fish to catch, and can be taken in all seasons, and tastes great. Therefore, it is a desirable sport fish in some locations of the US and Canada. It even makes up around 85% of the sport fish caught in Lake Michigan.

Geographic distribution

Yellow perch are native to North America in the northern region east of the Rocky Mountains, including tributaries of the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans and the Mississippi River. Native distribution was driven by postglacial melt from the Mississippi River. It has been widely dispersed from its native range. Its distribution to other areas of the eastern US and Canada are due to its popularity as a sport and commercial fish, as well as being a forage fish for other sport fish species, such as bass or walleye. The current native and introduced range in the United States is through northern Missouri to western Pennsylvania to South Carolina and north to Maine. Introduced areas currently have not expanded outside of North America. These introductions were predominantly performed by the US Fish Commission in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The non-native dispersal was not as intense in Canada. It was primarily limited to the lakes in the Peace River drainage of British Columbia, but has currently expanded to other bordering areas since.[4]

Yellow perch are commonly found in the littoral zones of both large and small lakes, but also inhabit slow-moving rivers and streams, brackish waters, and ponds. Due to human intervention, they are currently found in many man-made lakes, reservoirs, and river impoundments. The perch are most abundant in lakes that may be warm or cool and are extremely productive in smaller lakes where they can dominate unless controlled by predation.[4]

Ecology

Primarily, age and body size determine the diets of yellow perch. Zooplankton is the primary food source for young and larval perch. By age one, they shift to macroinvertebrates, such as midges and mosquitos. Large adult perch feed on invertebrates, fish eggs, crayfish, mysid shrimp, and juvenile fish. They have been known to be predominantly piscivorous and even cannibalistic in some cases. About 20% of the diet of a yellow perch over 32 g (1.1 oz) in weight consists of small fish. Maximum feeding occurs just before dark, with typical consumption averaging 1.4% of their body weight.[4]

Their microhabitat is usually along the shore among reeds and aquatic weeds, docks, and other structures. They are most dense within aquatic vegetation, since they naturally school, but also prefer small, weed-filled water bodies with muck, gravel, or sand bottoms. They are less abundant in deep and clear open water or unproductive lakes. Within rivers, they only frequent pools, slack water, and moderately vegetated habitat. They frequent inshore surface waters during the summer. Almost every cool- to warm-water predatory fish species, such as northern pike, muskellunge, bass, sunfish, crappie, walleye, trout, and even other yellow perch, are predators of the yellow perch. They are the primary prey for walleye Sander vitreus, and they consume 58% of the age zero and 47% of the age one yellow perch in northern lakes. However, in shallow natural lakes, largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides may be most influential in structuring the quality of yellow perch populations. In Nebraska's Sandhill lakes, the mean weight and quality of yellow perch is not related to invertebrate abundance, but is related to the abundance of largemouth bass. The three primary factors influencing quality panfish populations are predators, prey, and the environment.[7]

In eastern North America, yellow perch are an extremely important food source for birds such as double-crested cormorants. The cormorants specifically target yellow perch as primary prey. Other birds also prey on them, such as eagles, herring gulls, hawks, diving ducks, kingfishers, herons, mergansers, loons, and white pelicans. High estimates show that cormorants were capable of consuming 29% of the age-three perch population. In Canada, yellow perch are effective at escaping predation seasonally by lake trout and other native fishes during summer due to their high thermal tolerance. Parasites and diseases in yellow perch are often shared with salmonids in eastern North American lakes. A few examples are: brain parasite Flavobacterium columnare, red worm Eustrongylides tubifex, broad tapeworm Diphyllobothrium latum, and parasitic copepods Ergasilus spp.[8]

Perch are commonly active during the day and inactive at night except during spawning, when they are active both day and night. Perch are most often found in schools. Their vision is necessary for schooling and the schools break up at dusk and reform at dawn. The schools typically contain 50 to 200 fish, and are arranged by age and size in a spindle shape. Younger perch tend to school more than older and larger fish, which occasionally travel alone, and males and females often form separate schools. Some perch are migratory, but only in a short and local form. They also have been observed leading a semianadromous life. Yellow perch do not accelerate quickly and are relatively poor swimmers. The fastest recorded speed for a school was 54 cm/s (12.08 mph), with individual fish swimming at less than half that speed.[4]

Life history

Yellow perch spawn once a year in spring using large schools and shallow areas of a lake or low-current tributary streams. They do not build a redd or nest. Females have the potential to spawn up to eight times in their lifetimes. Two to five males go to the spawning grounds first and are with the female throughout the spawning process. The female deposits her egg mass, and then at least two males release their milt over the eggs, with the total process taking about five seconds. The males stay with the eggs for a short time, but the females leave immediately. No parental care is provided for the eggs or fry. The average clutch size is 23,000 eggs, but can range from 2,000 to 90,000. The egg mass is jelly-like, semibuoyant, and can reach up to 2 m long. The egg mass attaches to some vegetation, while the rest flows with the water current. Other substrate includes sand, gravel, rubble, and submerged trees and brush in wetland habitat. Yellow perch eggs are thought to contain a chemical in the jelly-like sheath that protects the eggs and makes them undesirable since they are rarely ever eaten by other fish. The eggs usually hatch in 8-10 days, but can take up to 21 days depending on temperature and proper spawning habitat. Yellow perch do not travel far during the year, but move into deeper water during winter and return to shallow water in spring to spawn. Spawning occurs in the spring when water temperatures are between 6.7 and 12.8°C. Growth of fry is initiated at 6–10°C, but is inactive below 5.3°C. Larval yellow perch survival is based on a variety of factors, such as wind speed, turbidity, food availability, and food composition. Immediately after hatching, yellow perch head for the pelagic shores to school and are typically 5 mm long at this point. This pelagic phase is usually 30–40 days long.[4]

Sexual dimorphism is known to occur in the northern waters where females are often larger, grow faster, live longer, and mature in 3-4 years. Males mature in 2-3 years at a smaller size. Perch do not grow as large in the northern waters, but tend to live longer. Maximum age estimates vary widely. The age of the perch is highly based on the condition of the lake. Most research has shown the maximum age to be approximately 9–10 years, with a few living past 11 years. Yellow perch have been proven to grow the best in lakes where they are piscivorous due to the lack of predators. Perch do not perform well in cold, deep, oligotrophic lakes. Seasonal movements tend to follow the 20°C isotherm and water temperature is the most important factor influencing fish distribution. Yellow perch commonly reside in shallow water, but are occasionally found deeper than 15 m or on the bottom. Their optimum temperature range is 21–24°C, but have been known to adapt to warmer or cooler habitats. The common lethal limit is 26.5°C, but some research has shown it to be upwards of 33°C with a stress limit at anything over 26°C. To grow properly, yellow perch prefer a pH of 7 to 8. The tolerable pH ranges have been found to be about 3.9 to 9.5. They also may survive in brackish and saline waters, as well as water with low dissolved oxygen levels.[4]

Current management

Managers employed management techniques at Drummond Island, Michigan, such as harassing the cormorants and killing them as needed. Overall, the harassment deterred 90% of cormorant foraging attempts, while killing less than 6% on average at each site; yellow perch abundance increased significantly due to their being the predominant prey of cormorants by total number and weight at that lake.[9] Lakes in South Dakota without suitable spawning substrate have had conifers introduced, such as short-needle spruce, to increase both spawning habitat and hatching success. Managers have identified seven key unauthorized pathways for the introduction of the yellow perch to non-native regions: shipping, recreational and commercial boating, construction of new canals and water diversions, releases from live food fish markets, releases from the aquarium and water garden trade, use of live bait, and illegal introductions to create new fisheries. The most likely unofficial pathways are illegal introductions, dispersal through connected waterways, and live bait. Many authorized introductions by natural resources agencies have taken place, as well, due to the sport-fishing demand.[4]

In 2000, the parasite Heterosporis spp. was discovered in yellow perch on the Eagle River Chain of Lakes in Vilas County in Wisconsin, and has since been found in Minnesota, Michigan, and Ontario. The parasite does not infect people, but can infect many important sport and forage fish including the yellow perch. It does not kill the infected fish, but the flesh of a severely infected fish becomes inedible when the fish dies and the spores are then spread through the water to infect another fish. That concerns commercial fisherman in the Great Lakes regions that depend on these fish. The infected perch are not marketable. The current infection rates are 5% of harvest. Viral hemorrhagic septicemia is another serious disease in perch in the Great Lakes region. It has already killed thousands of drum in Lake Ontario and caused a large die-off of yellow perch in Lake Erie in 2006. Ontario is restricting commercial bait licenses as a precaution against this disease. Outside its native range, very few diseases or parasites have been found.[4]

Fishing

Yellow perch are a popular sport fish, prized by both recreational anglers and commercial fishermen for their delicious, mild flavor. Because yellow perch are among the finest flavored pan fish, they are occasionally misrepresented on menus within the restaurant industry. White perch, rock bass, and many species of sunfish (genus Lepomis) are sometimes referred to as "perch" on menus. The voracious feeding habits of yellow perch make them fairly easy to catch when schools are located, and they are frequently caught by recreational anglers targeting other species. Perch at times attack lures normally used for bass such a 3" tubes, Rapala minnows, and larger curl tail grubs on jigheads, and small, brightly colored casting spoons, but the simplest way to catch them is to use light line, 4 to 8# test and light, unpainted jig heads, 1/32–1/16 oz. Too many small soft plastic lure designs to mention can catch all panfish, but minnow-shaped lures with a quivering tail work much of the time, so long as the retrieval speed is slow and the lure is fished at the depth the perch are swimming. Thin, straight-tail grubs require the slowest speed of retrieval and are preferred when the bite is slow, which is much of the time.

Some good baits for perch include worms, live and dead minnows, small freshwater clams, crickets, and any small lure resembling any of these. Larger perch are often caught on large live minnow on a jighead, especially when fished over weed beds. Bobbers, if used, should be spindle type for the least resistance when the bait is struck, but small, round bobbers work well, too, yet indicate any slight pull of the bait. Raising the rod top is usually more than enough force to set the hook.

Some yellow perch fisheries have been affected through intense harvesting, and commercial and recreational harvest rates often are regulated by management agencies. In most aquatic systems, yellow perch are an important prey source for larger, piscivorous species, and many fishing lures are designed to resemble yellow perch, though fish-eating fish do not have the intelligence to tell the difference between lures, but are some times wary of lures.

References

  1. ^ "World Records – International Game Fish Association". igfa.org.
  2. ^ https://myfwc.com/research/freshwater/sport-fishes/yellow-perch/
  3. ^ Paukert, Craig P.; Willis, David W.; Klammer, Joel A. (2002). "Effects of predation and environment on quality of yellow perch and bluegill populations in Nebraska sandhill lakes". North American Journal of Fisheries Management. 22 (1): 86–95. doi:10.1577/1548-8675(2002)022<0086:eopaeo>2.0.co;2.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Brown, T. G.; Runciman, B.; Bradford, M. J.; Pollard, S. (2009). "A biological synopsis of yellow perch Perca flavescens". Canadian Manuscript Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 2883: i–v, 1–28.
  5. ^ Belyea, G. Y.; Maruca, S. L.; Diana, J. S.; Schneeberger, P. J.; Scott, S. J.; Clark, R. D., Jr; Ludwig, J. P.; Summer, C. L. (1999). Impact of double-crested cormorant predation on the yellow perch population in the Les Cheneaux Islands of Michigan (Report). US Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. pp. 47–60.
  6. ^ VanDeValk, A. J.; Adams, C. M.; Rudstam, L. G.; Forney, J. L.; Brooking, T. E.; Gerken, M. A.; Young, B. P.; Hooper, J. T. (2002). "Comparison of angler and cormorant harvest of walleye and yellow perch in Oneida Lake, New York". Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. 131 (1): 27–39. doi:10.1577/1548-8659(2002)131<0027:coaach>2.0.co;2.
  7. ^ Paukert, C. P., Willis, D. W., Klammer, Joel A. 2002. Effects of predation and environment on quality of yellow perch and Bluegill populations in Nebraska sandhill lakes. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 22(1): 86–95.
  8. ^ Burnett, J. A. D., Ringler, N. H., Lantry, Brian F., and Johnson, James H. 2002. Double-crested cormorant predation on yellow perch in the eastern basin of Lake Ontario. Journal of Great Lakes Research 28(2): 202–211.
  9. ^ Brian, S. D., Moerke, A., Bur, M., Bassett, C., Aderman, T., Traynor, D., Singleton, R. D. Butchko, P. H., and Taylor, J. D. II 2010. Evaluation of harassment of migrating double-crested cormorants to limit depredation on selected sport fisheries in Michigan. Journal of Great Lakes Research 36(2): 215–223.
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Yellow perch: Brief Summary

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The yellow perch (Perca flavescens), commonly referred to as perch, striped perch or American perch is a freshwater perciform fish native to much of North America. The yellow perch was described in 1814 by Samuel Latham Mitchill from New York. It is closely related, and morphologically similar to the European perch (Perca fluviatilis); and is sometimes considered a subspecies of its European counterpart. Other common names for yellow perch include American perch, coontail, lake perch, raccoon perch, ring-tail perch, ringed perch, and striped perch. Another nickname for the perch is the Dodd fish.

Latitudinal variability in age, growth rates, and size have been observed among populations of yellow perch, likely resulting from differences in day length and annual water temperatures. In many populations, yellow perch often live 9 to 10 years, with adults generally ranging from 4 to 10 in (10 to 25 cm) in length.

The world record yellow perch (18 in (46 cm); 4 lb 3 oz (1.9 kg)) was caught in 1865 in New Jersey, and is the longest-standing record for freshwater fish in North America.

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