American Yellow Perch

American Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens)

Worth knowing about the American Yellow Perch


The American Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens) belongs to the kingdom of animals, more specifically to the tribe Chordata. Here they are again subdivided into the class Actinopterygii, order of Perciformes, the family of Percidae, genus Perca, and the species Perca flavescens.

This animal was first described in 1814 by Samuel Latham Mitchill (an American physician, naturalist, and politician who lived in Plandome, New York).

American Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens): Synonyms

Morone flavescens, Perca acuta, Perca Americana, Perca fluviatilis, Perca fluviatilis flavescens, Perca notata

In the Netherlands and Belgium, they also call this fish: ‘jack perch, ‘chained perch’, and ‘striped perch’. In America, this fish is also known as a preacher, striped perch, raccoon perch, American perch, coontail, lake perch, ringed perch, ring-tail perch, and the nickname “Dodd fish”.


This is a ray-finned fish. The animal is closely related to the European Perch and is sometimes thought of as a sub-version of its European counterpart.

The largest (or longest) specimen measured was 50 cm long and the maximum weight was 1.91 kilograms. The oldest American Yellow Perch examined was 11 years old.

At the top (from head to tail) the animal has a color that varies from bright green to olive or golden brown. On their flanks, you will find a pattern of 6 to 8 vertical bars on a yellow to the yellowish-green background.

They have a white color on the belly side.

The dorsal and caudal fins vary between yellow and green. Their pectoral fins are amber and transparent, and the anal and pelvic fins can be yellow to silvery white.

The younger animals have a paler color and an almost completely white background color.

This American Yellow Perch swims in schools during the day, but at nightfall, they disintegrate, as it were.

International names

  • Canada: American Perch, Chavoo, Lake Perch, Osaoeo, Osaoeos, Osaoes, Perch, Perchaude, Ukas, Yellow Perch
  • China: 北美黄鲈, 黃鱸(金鱸), 黄鲈(金鲈)
  • Denmark: Gul aborre
  • Estonia: Kollane ahven
  • Finland: Kelta-ahven
  • France: Perchaude, Perche canadienne
  • Germany: Amerikanischer Flußbarsch
  • Italy: Persico dorato
  • Netherlands: Amerikaanse gele baars
  • Norway: Amerikansk abbor
  • Poland: Okoń żółty
  • Portugal: Perca, Perca americana
  • Russia: Zheltyi okun’, окунь желтый
  • Spain: Perca canadiense
  • Sweden: Amerikansk abborre, Gul abborre, Nordamerikansk abborre
  • UK: Yellow Perch
  • USA: Lake perch, Yellow perch

Photos of the American Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens)

American Yellow Perch
(1) American Yellow Perch
American Yellow Perch
(2) American Yellow Perch
American Yellow Perch
(3) American Yellow Pearch
American Yellow Perch
(4) American Yellow Perch
American Yellow Perch
(5) American Yellow Perch
American Yellow Perch
(6) American Yellow Perch

Where can you find the American Yellow Perch?

The American Yellow Perch inhabits brackish water, salt lakes, rivers, ponds, and pools of creeks and rivers. They can be up to 9 meters deep and like a temperature between 0 and 30 degrees Celsius (between 32 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit).

This animal likes clear water and likes to stay close to the existing vegetation such as reeds and water weeds. They can also be found in docks. In the spring they prefer to swim around the coasts.

Countries where they live

  • North America: Atlantic, Arctic, Great Lakes, and Mississippi River basins from Nova Scotia to Mackenzie River drainage
  • Canada: Northwest Territories
  • USA: south to Ohio, Illinois, and Nebraska
  • USA (Georgia): south in Atlantic drainages to Savannah River

American Yellow Perch: Their nutrition

The newborn bass mainly eats zooplankton. From the age of one year, they then switch to macro-invertebrates such as flies and mosquitoes.

The larger adult animals feed on younger fish, invertebrates, mysid shrimp, fish eggs, and crayfish.

They are mostly known as fish eaters and can even have cannibalistic traits.

The perch is active during the day but not during the night.

Mysid Shrimp
Mysid Shrimp
Fish Eggs
Fish Eggs – Iridescent Fish Eggs from Heaven | Stopped all the way down.… | Flickr
Crayfish – Image tag: crayfish, image quantity: 67 | tag | Hippopx

How do these animals mate?

In contrast to their normal life where they are only active during the day, they are active both during the day and at night during the spawning season. This spawning season is once a year and starts in the spring.

Two to five males go with a female to the spawning area (in low-steaming water), where the female lays her eggs. Then at least 2 males empty their milt over the eggs. This procedure takes no longer than 5 seconds.

After this, the females take off while the males remain in the periphery of the brood for a while. But that doesn’t last long either because there is no parental care for the eggs or the young.

A female can spawn up to 8 times in her lifetime, laying an average of 23,000 eggs. Some of it attaches itself to the vegetation and the rest flows with the water. After a time of 8 to 10 days the eggs hatch, but in a not too good spawning place it can take up to 21 days.

American Yellow Perch in the human diet

The American Yellow Perch is indeed used for consumption, both fresh and frozen. It can be eaten baked, pan-fried, or broiled.

Their meat is very tasty and has a mild taste.

In the restaurants, however, there are sometimes other types of fish that are offered as American Yellow Perch, but in reality, these are different types of sunfish, rock bass, or white perch. Sometimes the menu simply says “perch”.

Below you will find a recipe with perch as it is prepared in my country (Belgium) and in the Netherlands:

Recipe with perch

Ingredients for 2 persons:

1 or 2 whole bass
300 ml milk
A handful of chopped parsley
Olive oil
Salt and pepper according to your taste


Clean the fish by immersing it in boiling water for 3 minutes. In a perch, the scales are quite fixed. This way you can easily remove them. If you don’t want everything to be covered with scales, it’s best to keep them under cold water while scales. First, remove all fins as they have mean spines.

Then make an incision from vent to head. You can scrape out the contents with the knife. I always leave the head on but cut the gills off. Then rinse well. Make sure you also clean the spine well.

Preparation method:

Put plenty of olive oil in a frying pan. Fry the fish on both sides for about 5 minutes.

Mix the cornstarch according to the package instructions with a little of the measured amount of milk. Heat the rest of the milk in a pan. Add the parsley just before the milk comes to a boil.

Remove the milk from the heat and stir in the cornmeal paste. Return the milk to heat and stir until the sauce thickens. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.

Serving tip:

Serve the perch with potatoes and vegetables topped with the sauce.

How do you fish for American Yellow Perch?

Since the American Yellow Perch is a tasty fish, it is of course often fished by anglers. These fish are very voracious and not fussy, making them easy to catch when they roam in schools.

A minnow-shaped lure with a vibrating tail is very effective if you fish at the right depth and move slowly.

Furthermore, baits are used such as crickets, worms, small freshwater mussels, live and dead white fish, or an authentic-looking small lure.

Enemies of the American Yellow Perch

The American Yellow Perch has quite a few enemies such as zander (their main enemy), trout, larger yellow bass (cannibalism), pike, muskellunge, sunfish, bass, and crappie.

In North America, these fish also have to deal with a variety of hostile birds such as double-crested cormorants (their worst enemies), herring gulls, herons, eagles, kingfishers, merganser, hawks, diving ducks, and white pelicans. In Canada, they have to watch out for lake trout and other native fish species.

Rainbow Trout
Rainbow Trout
Sunfish – File: Pumpkinseed Sunfish (Lepomis gibbosus) (3148925341).jpg – Wikimedia Commons
Crappie – Free picture: black, crappie, fish
Double-crested Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant
Herring Gull
Herring Gull
Blue Heron
Blue Heron – Blue Heron – Free Stock Photo by Pixabay on
Eagle – Eagle Bird Free Stock CC0 Photo –
Diving Duck
Diving Duck – Diving Duck Free Stock Photo – Public Domain Pictures
White Pelican
White Pelican

Endangered Species?

The American Yellow Perch is certainly not endangered and this is mainly because the species is also farmed. Researchers have established that the farmed animals are of equal quality to their wild colleagues.


This is where I come to the end of this article. I hope you found it interesting and of course, any questions, additional information, comments, ambiguities, or untruths can always be left behind. Thanks in advance!

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