How to identify a Yellow Perch

Its most striking characteristic is its golden yellow body with 6-8 dark fingers or bands which extend from the back towards the belly.Although the average size caught by anglers is 4-12 oz. (0.1-0.34 kg) it provides fast action and can be caught all year long. It will devour almost any natural bait and many types of artificials, including flies, and is an active feeder even in the winter when it is caught while ice fishing.

Where to catch Yellow Perch

The yellow perch is widespread species in the northern United States and in Canada. Although it occurs in nearly every U.S. state today, due to stocking, it is sparsely distributed in the South and through most of the West and Midwest. It blankets the northern U.S.A. and Canada, except British Columbia and the northern territories. In the east it ranges from Nova Scotia to the Santee River drainage, South Carolina and west through the Great Lakes to the edge of British Columbia and into Washington. A narrow contingent extends north through Great Slave Lake almost to Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories, Canada.


How to Identify a Yellow Perch
 1 Pectoral fins are lighter in coloration with an orange hue

 2 First dorsal fin has 11-15 spins

 3 Yellow/brass-colored body with five to nine olive-green, vertical bars


  • Cliffs and Steep Shore Banks
  • Gradual Shores
  • Inlets and Outlets
  • Islands or Sand Bars
  • Open Water
  • Piers, Docks and Pilings
  • Rocks
  • Spring Holes
  • Walkways and Bridges
  • Freshwater Lakes and Ponds
  • Holes
  • Inside Turns and Coves
  • Lily Pads
  • Overhanging Trees and Bushes
  • Points and Break Lines
  • Shoreline Shallows
  • Sunken Objects
  • Freshwater Weed Beds

Acknowledgements:  We thank (, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Indiana Department of Natural Resources for their contributions to these FISH FACTS.