Perch is a common name for fish of the genus Perca, freshwater gamefish belonging to the family Percidae. The perch, of which three species occur in different geographical areas, lend their name to a large order of vertebrates: the Perciformes, from the Greek perke, simply meaning perch, and the Latin forma meaning shape. Many species of freshwater gamefish more or less resemble perch, but belong to different genera. In fact, the exclusively saltwater-dwelling red drum is often referred to as a red perch, though by definition perch are freshwater fish. Though many fish are referred to as perch as a common name, to be considered a true perch, the fish must be of the family Percidae.

The type species for this genus is the European perch, P. fluviatilis.

Temporal range: Pliocene–recent
Yellow perch (Perca flavescens)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Percidae
Subfamily: Percinae
Genus: Perca
Linnaeus, 1758
Type species
Perca fluviatilis
Linnaeus, 1758


Most authorities recognize three species within the perch genus:

  • The European perch (P. fluviatilis) is found in Europe and Asia. This species is typically greenish in color with dark vertical bars on its sides with a red or orange coloring in the tips of its fins. The European perch has been successfully introduced in New Zealand and Australia, where it is known as the redfin perch or English perch. In Australia, larger specimens have been bred, but the species rarely grows larger than about 6 lb.
  • The Balkhash perch (P. schrenkii) is found in Kazakhstan, (in Lake Balkhash and Lake Alakol), Uzbekistan, and China. It is very similar to the European perch, and grows to a comparable size.
  • The yellow perch (P. flavescens), smaller and paler than the European perch, is found in the United States and Canada. In northern areas, it is sometimes referred to as the lake perch. This species is prized for its food quality and has often been raised in hatcheries and introduced into areas in which it is not native. Yellow perch are almost identical in appearance to European perch, but have a more yellow coloring. These fish typically only reach a size of about 15 in and 2.2 lb (1 kg).


The general body type of a perch is somewhat long and rounded. True perch have "rough" or ctenoid scales. On the anterior side of the head are the maxilla and lower mandible for the mouth, a pair of nostrils, and two lidless eyes. On the posterior sides are the opercular series, which protect the gills, and the lateral line system, which is sensitive to vibrations in the water. The kidney of the perch runs along the backbone and forms a head, caudal to the gills.[2] Perch have paired pectoral and pelvic fins, and two dorsal fins, the first one spiny and the second soft. These two fins can be separate or joined.


Perch are carnivorous fish most commonly found in small ponds, lakes, streams, or rivers. These fish feed on smaller fish, shellfish, or insect larvae, but can be caught with nearly any bait. They commonly spawn during the spring, when the females lay strings of eggs in covered areas such as near branches or underwater plants. Perch have a wide distribution throughout the world, and are very plentiful in the Great Lakes, especially Lake Erie.


Perch are popular sport fish species. They are known to put up a fight, and to be good eating. They can be caught with a variety of methods, including float fishing, lure fishing, and legering. Perch grow to around 50 cm and 5 lb (2.3 kg) or more, but the most common size caught are around 30 cm (1 ft)and 1 lb (0.45 kg) or less, and anything over 40 cm and 2 lb (0.91 kg) is considered a prize catch.

Perch have often formed a critical part of the total weight caught by an angler during a competition. In 2016, angler Ross Winfield failed to weigh a perch during a competition that cost him a top-five place (often called framing on the UK match fishing circuit). Unfortunately, he later found the perch in his keep net.

See also

  • For other perch not in the genus Perca, see Perch (disambiguation).


  1. ^ "Perca Linnaeus 1758 (perch)".
  2. ^ Weatherley, A. H. (1963-03-01). "A Note on the Head Kidney and Kidney of the Perch Perca Fluviatilis (linnaeus), with Special Reference to the Blood Vascular System". Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London. 140 (2): 161–167. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.1963.tb01859.x. ISSN 1469-7998.
Angel's Perch

Angel's Perch, at 11,687 feet (3,562 m) above sea level is the 11th highest peak in the Pioneer Mountains of Idaho. The peak is located in Salmon-Challis National Forest and Custer County. It is the 32nd highest peak in Idaho and less than 2.3 mi (3.7 km) northwest of Standhope Peak.


The barramundi (Lates calcarifer) or Asian sea bass, is a species of catadromous fish in family Latidae of order Perciformes. The species is widely distributed in the Indo-West Pacific region from Southeast Asia to Papua New Guinea and Northern Australia. Known in Thai language as pla kapong, it is very popular in Thai cuisine.

Bass (fish)

Bass () is a name shared by many species of fish. The term encompasses both freshwater and marine species, all belonging to the large order Perciformes, or perch-like fishes. The word bass comes from Middle English bars, meaning "perch".


Caprodon is a small genus of fish belonging to the subfamily Anthiadinae. It contains three species.

European perch

Perca fluviatilis, commonly known as the European perch, perch, redfin perch, big-scaled redfin, English perch, Eurasian perch, Eurasian river perch or common perch, is a predatory species of perch found in Europe and northern Asia. The species is a popular quarry for anglers, and has been widely introduced beyond its native area, into Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. They have caused substantial damage to native fish populations in Australia and have been proclaimed a noxious species in New South Wales.

James Perch

James Robert Perch (born 28 September 1985) is an English professional footballer who plays for Scunthorpe United. Perch is versatile and has covered many positions in both defence and across midfield. However, he is usually deployed at right back.

Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria (Nam Lolwe in Luo; Nalubaale in Uganda; Nyanza in Kinyarwanda and some Bantu languages) is one of the African Great Lakes. The lake was named after Queen Victoria by the explorer John Hanning Speke, the first Briton to document it. Speke accomplished this in 1858, while on an expedition with Richard Francis Burton to locate the source of the Nile River.With a surface area of approximately 59,947 square kilometres (23,146 sq mi), Lake Victoria is Africa's largest lake by area, the world's largest tropical lake, and the world's second largest fresh water lake by surface area after Lake Superior in North America. In terms of volume, Lake Victoria is the world's ninth largest continental lake, containing about 2,424 cubic kilometres (1.965×109 acre⋅ft) of water.Lake Victoria occupies a shallow depression in Africa. The lake has a maximum depth of between 80 and 84 metres (262 and 276 ft) and an average depth of 40 metres (130 ft). Its catchment area covers 169,858 square kilometres (65,583 sq mi). The lake has a shoreline of 7,142 kilometres (4,438 mi) when digitized at the 1:25,000 level, with islands constituting 3.7 percent of this length, and is divided among three countries: Kenya (6 percent or 4,100 square kilometres or 1,600 square miles), Uganda (45 percent or 31,000 square kilometres or 12,000 square miles), and Tanzania (49 percent or 33,700 square kilometres or 13,000 square miles).


Lepidoperca is a small genus of fish belonging to the Anthiadinae subfamily. It includes ten species.

List of common fish names

This is a list of common fish names. While some common names refer to a single species or family, others have been used for a confusing variety of types; the articles listed here should explain the possibilities if the name is ambiguous.

Nile perch

The Nile perch (Lates niloticus) is a species of freshwater

fish in family Latidae of order Perciformes. It is widespread throughout much of the Afrotropic ecozone, being native to the Congo, Nile, Senegal, Niger and Lake Chad, Volta, Lake Turkana, and other river basins. It also occurs in the brackish waters of Lake Maryut in Egypt. The Nile perch is a fish of substantial economic and food-security importance in East Africa. Originally described as Labrus niloticus, among the marine wrasses, the species has also been referred to as Centropomus niloticus. Common names include African snook, Victoria perch (a misleading trade name, as the species is not native to Lake Victoria), and a large number of local names in various African languages, such as the Luo name mbuta or mputa. In Tanzania, it is called sangara, sankara, or chenku. In Francophone African countries, it is known as capitaine and in Egypt/Sudan as am'kal. Its name in the Hausa language is giwan ruwa, meaning "water elephant".

Orange roughy

The orange roughy (Hoplostethus atlanticus), also known as the red roughy, slimehead and deep sea perch, is a relatively large deep-sea fish belonging to the slimehead family (Trachichthyidae). The UK Marine Conservation Society has categorized orange roughy as "vulnerable to exploitation". It is found in 3 to 9 °C (37 to 48 °F), deep (bathypelagic, 180-to-1,800-metre (590 to 5,910 ft)) waters of the Western Pacific Ocean, eastern Atlantic Ocean (from Iceland to Morocco; and from Walvis Bay, Namibia, to off Durban, South Africa), Indo-Pacific (off New Zealand and Australia), and in the eastern Pacific off Chile.

The orange roughy is notable for its extraordinary lifespan, living for up to 149 years. It is important to commercial deep-trawl fisheries. The fish is a bright, brick-red color; fading to a yellowish-orange after death.

Like other slimeheads, orange roughy is slow-growing and late to mature, resulting in a very low resilience which makes them extremely susceptible to overfishing. Many stocks (especially those off New Zealand and Australia, which were first exploited in the late 1970s) became severely depleted within 3–20 years, but several have subsequently recovered (see Fisheries below).

Perch SSSI

The Perch (grid reference ST480532) is a 72.1 hectare (178.2 acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest close to Cheddar Gorge in the Mendip Hills, Somerset, England. It received SSSI notification in 1990.

This site is important because it supports populations of nationally rare and scarce plants, together with grassland and woodland habitats which are nationally restricted in distribution.The site is located on the south side of the Mendip Hills occupying a position on a steep-sided ridge which runs north to south. The underlying rocks are almost entirely carboniferous limestone with a small amount of Triassic dolomitic conglomerate.The nationally rare purple gromwell (Lithospermum purpurocaeruleum) and the nationally scarce Ivy Broomrape (Orobanche hederae) also occur. Three species of orchid occur in these grassland areas: the Green-winged Orchid (Orchis morio), the pyramidal orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis) and the Autumn Ladies'-tresses (Spiranthes spiralis). Two nationally rare plants, the Cheddar pink (Dianthus gratianopolitanus) and the Cheddar bedstraw (Galium fleurotii) are found on this site, as are two nationally scarce species: the rock stonecrop (Sedum forsterianum) and the spring cinquefoil (Potentilla tabernaemontani).This variety of habitats ensures that a wide range of fauna occurs on the site. In total 22 species of mammal have been recorded including a strong population of dormouse (Muscardinus avellanarius) and five species of bat, including the Greater Horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum) and Lesser Horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros) which use the site for feeding. One small roost of lesser horseshoe bats is known. Both species of horseshoe bat are nationally rare. Thirty species of birds are known to breed within this site and at least 23 species of butterfly breed here.


Perciformes, also called the Percomorpha or Acanthopteri, is an order or superorder of ray-finned fish. If considered a single order, they are the most numerous order of vertebrates, containing about 41% of all bony fish. Perciformes means "perch-like". This group comprises over 10,000 species found in almost all aquatic ecosystems.

The order contains about 160 families, which is the most of any order within the vertebrates. It is also the most variably sized order of vertebrates, ranging from the 7-mm (1/4-in) Schindleria brevipinguis to the 5-m (16.4 ft) marlin in the genus Makaira. They first appeared and diversified in the Late Cretaceous.

Among the well-known members of this group are perch and darters (Percidae), sea bass and groupers (Serranidae).

Rod (unit)

The rod or perch or pole is a surveyor’s tool and unit of length exactly equal to ​5 1⁄2 yards, 16​1⁄2 feet, ​1⁄320 of a statute mile or one-fourth of a surveyor's chain (approximately 5.0292 meters). The rod is useful as a unit of length because whole number multiples of it can form one acre of square measure. The 'perfect acre' is a rectangular area of 43,560 square feet, bounded by sides of length 660 feet and 66 feet (220 yards and 22 yards) or, equivalently, 40 rods and 4 rods. An acre is therefore 160 square rods.

A rod is the same length as a perch, also sometimes called a pole which measure using cordage or wood, slightly antedated the use of both rods and surveyors chains, made of more dimensionally regular materials. Its name derives from the Ancient Roman unit, the pertica.

The measure also has a relationship to the military pike of about the same size and both measures date from the sixteenth century, when that weapon was still utilized in national armies. The tool, normally configured as a metal rod with eye-ends (loops that could be hooked together), was used commonly until quite recently, when it was supplanted by electronic tools such as surveyor lasers (Lidar) and optical target devices for surveying lands. Surveyors rods and chains are still utilized in rough terrains with heavy overgrowth where laser or other optical measurements are difficult or impossible. In dialectal English the term lug has also been used.

Rose fish

The rose fish (Sebastes norvegicus), also known as the ocean perch, Atlantic redfish, Norway haddock, red perch, red bream, golden redfish or hemdurgan, is a deep sea species of rockfish from the North Atlantic. It is a large, slow-growing, late-maturing fish and the subject of a fishery.


Sebastidae is a family of marine fish in the order Scorpaeniformes. Their common names include rockfishes, rock perches, ocean perches, sea perches, thornyheads, scorpionfishes, sea ruffes and rockcods. Despite the latter name, they are not closely related to the cods in the genus Gadus, nor the rock cod, Lotella rhacina.

Not all authorities recognise this family as distinct from Scorpaenidae. FishBase, a finfish database generated by a consortium of academic institutions, does, but the United States Federal government's Integrated Taxonomic Information System does not.A substantial majority of the approximately 130 species in this family belong to genus Sebastes, including the rose fish (Sebastes norvegicus). They are found in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. More than 100 of the species are viviparous, and these occur mainly in the North Pacific. All species have venom glands in their dorsal, anal, and pelvic spines.

USS Perch (SS-313)

USS Perch (SS/SSP/ASSP/APSS/LPSS/IXSS-313), a Balao-class submarine, was the second submarine of the United States Navy to be named for the perch, a rather small European fresh-water spiny-finned fish.

The second Perch (SS–313) was laid down 5 January 1943 by the Electric Boat Co., Groton, Conn.; launched 12 September 1943; sponsored by Mrs. David A. Hart; and commissioned 7 January 1944, Lt. Comdr. Blish C. Hills in command.

After shakedown she departed 19 February 1944 for Key West, Fla., where she gave services to the Fleet Sound School. She then sailed for Pearl Harbor, arriving 3 April.

White perch

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. In some locales it is referred to incorrectly as "silver bass".The name "white perch" is sometimes 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 (4.9 lb).

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 South Carolina, and as far east as Nova Scotia.

They are also found in the lower Great Lakes, Finger Lakes, Long Island Sound and nearby coastal areas, Hudson and Mohawk River system, Delaware Bay and Chesapeake Bay. It is also found occasionally in small land-locked lakes and ponds. 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.

Yellow perch

The yellow perch (Perca flavescens), commonly referred to as perch, is a freshwater perciform fish native to much of North America. The yellow perch was described in 1814 by Samuel Latham Mitchill from New York. It is closely related, and morphologically similar to the European perch (Perca fluviatilis); and is sometimes considered a subspecies of its European counterpart. Other common names for yellow perch include American perch, coontail, lake perch, raccoon perch, ring-tail perch, ringed perch, and striped perch. Another nickname for the perch is the Dodd fish.

Latitudinal variability in age, growth rates, and size have been observed among populations of yellow perch, likely resulting from differences in day length and annual water temperatures. In many populations, yellow perch often live 9 to 10 years, with adults generally ranging from 4 to 10 in (10 to 25 cm) in length.

The world record yellow perch (18 in (46 cm); 4 lb 3 oz (1.9 kg)) was caught in 1865 in New Jersey, and is the longest-standing record for freshwater fish in North America.

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