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Montana Animal Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Yellow Perch - Perca flavescens

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Exotic Species (not native to Montana)

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNA

Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS:
BLM:
FWP Conservation Tier: 4


 

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General Description
The yellow perch is a very familiar species to most fishermen. This fish was introduced into Montana and is found in abundance in many lakes and reservoirs located east and west of the Divide. Perch support one of the largest fisheries in Montana and are considered one of the best eating fish in the state. Because of their tendency to travel in schools, perch often can be caught in large numbers, which makes up for their relatively small size and difficulty in cleaning. Young yellow perch are important prey for several sport fish. Perch drape strings of gelatinous material with eggs embedded inside over substrate or vegetation. Perch foods are invertebrates and small fish.

Diagnostic Characteristics
Many small teeth but no canine teeth. Anal fin has two spines and 6 to 8 soft rays. Lower fins reddish orange in breeding males.

General Distribution
Montana Range


 


Summary of Observations Submitted for Montana
Number of Observations: 10709

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Relative Density

Recency

 

(Records associated with a range of dates are excluded from time charts)



Migration
May move into tributary streams to spawn.

Habitat
Prefers warm to cool clear lakes with vegetation and to a lesser extent, slow, weedy streams, but is adaptable. Usually spawns over aquatic vegetation but silt-free sand and gravel bars may be used.

Food Habits
Adults eat aquatic invert. and small fish. Young feed largely on zooplankton.

Ecology
Travel in schools make up of fish of approximately the same size. Important forage fish. Populations often stunt.

Reproductive Characteristics
Sexually mature in 2 years. Spawns April-May at 45-50 degrees F. Incubation: 10-20 days. No parental care.

References
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Citation for data on this website:
Yellow Perch — Perca flavescens.  Montana Field Guide.  Montana Natural Heritage Program and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.  Retrieved on August 28, 2014, from http://FieldGuide.mt.gov/detail_AFCQC03010.aspx
 
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