WWC Perch

Line caught Perch - WWC Archives

The Perch (Perca fluviatilis) is one of our most common and widespread freshwater fish. Easily recognised by the vertical stripes on the side, red lower fins and tail and the prickly first dorsal fin, it has a couple of less obvious features - a blue spot under the chin and a sharp spine at the rear of each operculum (gill cover). Small perch are easily caught by beginners, who discover the opercular spines when they pick a perch up and it shakes its head! Perch are greenish with red pelvic, anal and caudal fins. They have five to nine dark vertical bars on their sides.

The perch spawns (in the Northern Hemisphere) at the end of April or beginning of May, depositing the eggs upon water plants, or the branches of trees or shrubs that have become immersed in the water; it does not come into condition again until July. The eggs have been known to stick to the legs of wading birds and then transferred to other waters that the birds visit.

Perch are found in streams, rivers, canals, small ponds and large lakes. Small perch eat invertebrates and fish fry, larger perch are piscivorous but very difficult to catch.