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White Perch

Species Information

Scientific Name:Morone americana
Environment:Lake, River, Inshore
Ideal Temp:50-64°F (10-18°F)
Technique:Bottom Fishing, Casting, Fly, Jigging
Lure Type:Bottom Rig, Flies, Jigs, Soft Plastics
World Record:1.59 kg (3 lb 8 oz) Wachusett Reservoir, Massachusetts, USA 16-Oct-2016
Other Names:white perch

The white perch (Morone americana) is not a true perch but is a fish of the temperate bass family, Moronidae, notable as a food and game fish in eastern North America. In some places it is referred to as "Silver Bass".

White perch are silver-green to olive in color. The underside of their lower jaw is often purple. 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".  The spiny and soft dorsal fins are joined by a membrane. The anal fin contains three spines; the second spine is thicker than the first and almost as long as the third. There are no teeth on the tongue of the white perch.

White perch have been reported up to 49.5 cm (19.5 in) in length and weighing 2.2 kg (4.9 lb). Average length is 6-9 inches and less than 1 pound, most landlocked specimens less than 1/3 pound.

White perch are a schooling species that are semi-anadromous, meaning they move between estuarine and fresh waters to spawn. From April to June, when water temperatures average 50-60°F, white perch migrate from estuarine waters into large rivers where females release up to 150,000 adhesive eggs. Populations that are locked within reservoirs do not follow this pattern, but instead migrate within the reservoir. Immediately following the laying of the eggs, males release millions of sperm cells. In spite of this haphazard spawning ritual, the ratio of hatched eggs is enormous when compared to other fish. The young hatch within one to six days of fertilization.

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.

They have a diverse diet including worms, shrimp, crabs, insects and small fishes. 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 fathead minnows. In the Chesapeake Bay, white perch commonly prey upon grass shrimp, razor clams, and bloodworms which are all common to the region.

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.

Latest White Perch Fishing Reports and Spots

Last Hurrah for August - 8/9/2022 9:29:18 AM

Summer is almost over and Last Hurrah Charter Fishing has prime open weekdays. We are still running out of our northern marina on the Magothy R (View)

Dog Days of Summer - 8/2/2022 3:33:10 PM

The Maryland Striped Bass Season is back in and will remain so until December 10th. Some Bluefish are showing up as well and Spanish Mackerel a (View)

Maumee river report- may 10th 2022 - 5/10/2022 8:56:34 AM

As the river drops we are seeing some white perch (worms on the bottom) and some white bass(roostertails) being picked up. Water dropped anothe (View)

Maumee River report- april 29 2022 - 4/29/2022 5:14:23 AM

  One of the most popular species to target here on the Maumee this time of year is a small silvery fish called the white perch. White perch ar (View)

March 2022 - Cape Cod pond fishing - 3/29/2022 7:53:37 PM

By Striper Mike Sports Port Pro Staff View fullsize View fullsize View fullsize View fullsize View fullsize View fullsize View fullsize Winter (View)

The GLORY Hole! - 2/7/2022 7:36:00 PM

  This hole produced over 20 fish in a short amount of time. The hot ice fishing that I have been experiencing lately just continues.  I went o (View)

Chesapeake Beach Fishing Report:Rockfish Spanish Mackeral - 7/22/2019 11:26:09 AM

Summer is moving right along and July is almost over. The month of fishing has been just as hot as the weather with limit catches of Rockfish c (View)

Chesapeake Beach Fishing Charter Report - 8/2/2019 6:38:36 AM

Here is what’s happening in the Chesapeake Beach area: Chesapeake Beach Fishing Charters continue to have success live-lining for rockfish. Aft (View)

White Perch98 - 4/1/2021 5:42:12 PM


White Perch96 - 4/1/2021 5:42:11 PM