The Frog Blog – Fish Fridays!

Fridays, I will be showcasing a fish that you may find in Ohio. Today we are going to talk about yellow perch (Perca falvescens), a fish that many people commonly add to their ponds.

Identification

Yellow perch are commonly sought after by anglers and can be easily identified. To begin, look for two distinct dorsal (top of the body) fins; one spiny and one soft. This is a common characteristic of the Percidae family of fishes which includes yellow perch, walleye, and darters. Coloration can help next. Yellow perch will have a very distinguishable yellow color with black vertical bands that very few other fish possess. This can be compared to the similar looking walleye whose coloration is more tan and white without the vertical bands.

Ecology

Yellow perch are considered to be a cool water fish. This means that they prefer temperatures in the low 60’s to mid-70’s (°F) although you can sometimes find fish out of this threshold. They are typically less than a foot in length but some larger sized yellow perch do exist. They also eat an array of prey items from benthic macroinvertebrates (insects on the bottom of ponds/lakes) to smaller fish (like fathead minnows). Yellow perch spawn during the spring time and lay eggs over vegetation and other forms of structure in the shallows. If you want yellow perch in your pond, I would suggest stocking in waterbodies with depths deeper than usual (perhaps greater than 10’). This way if the summer is particularly hot, there’s thermal habitat for the fish to go to. Aeration will also help in ponds with perch to ensure oxygen levels are sufficient enough throughout the water column. It would also be suggested to create structure or leave some vegetation as well for the perch to spawn in the spring.

Happy Friday

by: Edward Kwietniewski

Aquatic Biologist

AQUA DOC Lake and Pond Management

12/15/2017