Perca flavescens

Yellow Perch

FWS Focus

Overview

Characteristics
Overview

Yellow perch spawn between February and July in the northern hemispheres and between August and October in the southern hemisphere. The oldest reported age for a yellow perch is 11 years. The heaviest reported weight for a yellow perch is 1.9 kg (4.2 lbs.)

Scientific Name

Perca flavescens
Common Name
yellow perch
Kingdom

Location in Taxonomic Tree

Genus

Identification Numbers

TSN:

Characteristics

Characteristic category

Habitat

Characteristics
Habitat

Yellow perch spawn between February and July in the northern hemispheres and between August and October in the southern hemisphere. Yellow perch are found in ponds, lakes, and slow flowing rivers, most commonly found in clear water near vegetation.

Lake
River or Stream
Characteristic category

Lifecycle

Characteristics
Reproduction

Yellow perch spawning occurs during the spring as water temperatures rise along the shorelines. Yellow perch eggs are deposited in long ribbons along submerged vegetation, dead branches and trees. When female yellow perch expel their eggs, groups of male yellow perch will follow the females and fertilize their eggs. 

Yellow perch eggs hatch roughly 12 days after fertilization but egg incubation time varies and is influenced by water temperature. After hatching, larval yellow perch utilize their yolk sac for nourishment (~7 days) prior to transitioning to a zooplankton diet.  Survival rates of larval and juvenile yellow perch are generally low in the wild because many fish utilize yellow perch as their natural forage species. Larval and juvenile yellow perch are prey for species such as bass, walleye, and other predators. 

In order to compensate for these low survival rates, yellow perch produce large quantities of eggs. This strategy enables small populations of yellow perch to rebound if favorable habitat conditions occur. 

Characteristic category

Food

Characteristics
Food

Yellow perch consume a wide variety of invertebrates and small fish species. 

Characteristic category

Physical Characteristics

Characteristics
Physical Characteristics

Yellow perch are most commonly found in clear water near vegetation and tend to school near the shore during the spring. 

Weight

The common length for yellow perch is 7.5 inches with the longest reported length for yellow perch being 19.7 inches. 

Color & Pattern

Yellow perch are typically yellow to gold colored with 6 to 8 distinctive triangular shaped olive-green stripes along their sides. 

Size & Shape

The common length for yellow perch is 7.5 inches with the longest reported length for yellow perch being 19.7 inches. 

Geography

Characteristics
Range

Yellow perch spawning occurs during the spring as water temperatures rise along the shorelines. Yellow perch eggs are deposited in long ribbons along submerged vegetation, dead branches and trees. When female yellow perch expel their eggs, groups of male yellow perch will follow the females and fertilize their eggs. 

Yellow perch eggs hatch roughly 12 days after fertilization but egg incubation time varies and is influenced by water temperature. After hatching, larval yellow perch utilize their yolk sac for nourishment (about seven days) prior to transitioning to a zooplankton diet. Survival rates of larval and juvenile yellow perch are generally low in the wild because many fish utilize yellow perch as their natural forage species. Larval and juvenile yellow perch are prey for species such as bass, walleye, and other predators. 

In order to compensate for these low survival rates, yellow perch produce large quantities of eggs. This strategy enables small populations of yellow perch to rebound if favorable habitat conditions occur. 

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