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Yellow Perch


The yellow perch (Perca flavescens) is native to Ohio and is found in lakes, reservoirs, ponds, and slow moving rivers.

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Yellow perch are golden yellow to brassy green with six to eight dark vertical bars and a white to yellow belly. Yellow perch do not have large canine teeth like the closely related walleye or sauger. Their pelvic and anal fins usually have some orange coloration and the first dorsal fin has a dark blotch near the rear of the fin. All other fins are relatively clear with no distinct markings. Also referred to as the lake perch or ringed perch, the yellow perch is in the Percidae (perches and darters) family. It is a sport fish that usually measures 5-12 inches in length, but can reach 16 inches. It typically weighs .25-1 pound, but has been known to reach just over 2 pounds.


Yellow perch spawn from mid-April to early May by depositing their eggs over vegetation or submerged brush and give no parental care. The eggs are laid in strands that bunch up and swell after being laid to form a large gelatinous mass.

Habitat & Behavior

The yellow perch is found primarily in lakes, reservoirs, and occasionally in slow moving streams. They are most common in Lake Erie and in some of Ohio's larger reservoirs. They prefer relatively clear water and are often associated with rooted aquatic vegetation. They feed on aquatic insects, larger invertebrates, and small fishes.