White perch

White perch
White perch
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Osteichthyes
Order: Perciformes
Family: Moronidae
Genus: Morone
Species: M. americana
Binomial name
Morone americana
(Gmelin, 1789)

Morone americanus

The white perch, Morone americana, is not a true perch but is, rather, a fish of the temperate bass family, Moronidae, notable as a food and game fish in eastern North America.

The name "white perch" is sometimes erroneously applied to the white crappie.

Generally silvery-white in color, hence the name, depending upon habitat and size specimens have begun to develop a darker shade near the dorsal fin and along the top of the fish. This sometimes earns them the nickname "Black-Back." White perch have been reported up to 49.5 cm (19.5 in.) in length and weighing 2.2 kg (4.8 lbs.).

Although favoring brackish waters, it is also found in fresh water and coastal areas from the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario south to the Pee Dee River in North Carolina, and as far east as Nova Scotia.

There are commercial fisheries for white perch in the lower Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay. The raw meat is of a somewhat pinkish hue, but when cooked, it is white and flaky. At times, a parasite known as Lironeca ovalis is located in the gills. They are only known to reduce the growing rate of white perch.



White perch are known to eat the eggs of many species native to the Great Lakes, such as walleye and other true perches. At times, fish eggs are 100% of their diet. They prefer to eat small minnows like mud minnows and fat head minnows. In the Chesapeake Bay, White perch commonly prey upon grass shrimp, razor clams and bloodworms which are all common to the region.


White perch are a prolific species. The female can deposit over 140,000 eggs in a spawning session, lasting just over a week. Several males will often attend a spawning female, and each may fertilize a portion of her eggs. The young hatch within one to six days of fertilization.

Fishing for white perch

As for fishing, these fish put up a great fight for their size. They can be caught with blood worms, night crawlers or mackerel, on small hooks or double rigs. White perch also have a hard, scaly body that, along with their sharp fins, protects them from predators. When removing a white perch from a hook, one should hold the line gently in one hand and gently slide the other hand downward from beginning at the fish's nose while curling the thumb and touching the middle fingher. Doing so will gently collaps the spined dorsal fin and prevent an unexpected stick.

White perch are a popular fare for Chesapeake Bay fisherman and in many locations are considered a local favorite for a fish fry, breaded and baked, or even grilled with lemon juice and some fresh chopped vegetables.

The white perch is currently recovering from loss of population in the Hudson River.

Morone americana

Aquatic nuisance species

Some states consider the white perch to be a nuisance species due to its ability to destroy fisheries. They have been associated with the declines in both walleye and white bass populations because they feed heavily on baitfish used by those species and outcompete them for food and space. Many states have enacted laws forbidding possession of live white perch. Additionally, these states recommend not releasing captured white perch back into the water to help control its spread.

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • White perch — Perch Perch (p[ e]rch), n. [Written also {pearch}.] [OE. perche, F. perche, L. perca, fr. Gr. pe rkh; cf. perkno s dark colored, Skr. p[.r][,c]ni spotted, speckled, and E. freckle.] (Zo[ o]l.) 1. Any fresh water fish of the genus Perca and of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • White perch — White White (hw[imac]t), a. [Compar. {Whiter} (hw[imac]t [ e]r); superl. {Whitest}.] [OE. whit, AS. hw[imac]t; akin to OFries. and OS. hw[=i]t, D. wit, G. weiss, OHG. w[=i]z, hw[=i]z, Icel. hv[=i]tr, Sw. hvit, Dan. hvid, Goth. hweits, Lith.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • white perch — ☆ white perch n. 1. a small, silvery, edible bass (Morone americana) of the same family (Percichthyidae) as white bass, found in coastal waters of the E U.S. 2. a freshwater drum fish (Aplodinotus grunniens) of the central U.S. 3. a) SILVER PERCH …   English World dictionary

  • white perch — white′ perch′ n. 1) ich a small edible sea bass, Morone americana, of eastern U.S. coasts 2) ich silver perch 2) • Etymology: 1765–75, amer …   From formal English to slang

  • white perch — noun small silvery food and game fish of eastern United States streams • Syn: ↑silver perch, ↑Morone americana • Hypernyms: ↑serranid fish, ↑serranid • Member Holonyms: ↑Morone, ↑gen …   Useful english dictionary

  • white perch — diskinis gyvavedis ešerys statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Damalichthys vacca angl. dusky sea perch; pileperch; white perch rus. вакка; дисковидная эмбиотока ryšiai: platesnis terminas – diskiniai… …   Žuvų pavadinimų žodynas

  • white perch — sidabrinis dryžasis ešerys statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Morone americana angl. narrow mouthed bass; silver perch; white perch rus. белый американский лаврак ryšiai: platesnis terminas – dryžieji… …   Žuvų pavadinimų žodynas

  • white perch — 1. a small game fish, Morone americana, greenish gray above and silvery below, inhabiting streams along the Atlantic coast of the U.S. 2. See freshwater drum. 3. See silver perch (def. 2). [1765 75, Amer.] * * * …   Universalium

  • white perch — noun Date: 1775 1. a silvery anadromous bass (Morone americana) chiefly of the coast and coastal streams of the eastern United States 2. freshwater drum 3. white crappie …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Pacific white perch — baltasis gyvavedis ešerys statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Phanerodon furcatus angl. forktail perch; Pacific white perch; white sea perch; white surfperch rus. вильчатая белая эмбиотока ryšiai:… …   Žuvų pavadinimų žodynas

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