Silver bass, silver perch, sea perch, bass, narrowmouthed bass, bass perch, gray perch, bluenose perch, humpy; French: bar blanc d’Amerique.
The white perch has a deep, thin body that rises steeply upward from each eye to the beginning of the dorsal fin and has the greatest depth below the first dorsal fin. A large, older specimen may be almost humpbacked. The coloration is olive, gray-green, silvery-gray, dark brown, or black on the back, becoming lighter silvery-green on the sides and silvery-white on the belly. The pelvic and anal fins (both on the belly) are sometimes pink, and the pelvic fins are located in front of the body, below the pectoral fins.
White perch are found along the Atlantic coast from the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence to South Carolina and along the headwaters of the St. Lawrence River to the lower Great Lakes.
The adaptive white perch lives in salt, brackish and fresh water. In the marine environment, it lives mostly in brackish water, estuaries, coastal rivers and streams; there are populations that live in the sea. Some white perch remain permanent inhabitants of brackish bays and estuaries, while others roam widely to find food. They are considered demersal and usually stay deep in their native waters, on or near the bottom.
The average white perch caught by anglers weighs about three-quarters of a pound and reaches 9 inches in length. The normal lifespan is 5-7 years, but white bass can live up to 17 years. The largest white perch that has been recorded is a specimen weighing four pounds, 12 ounces.
Life history and Behavior
White perch spawn in spring, usually at water temperatures of 57° to 75 °F, in shallow water. It is a schooling species that stays in loose schools in open water until adulthood. They are not oriented to shelter.
Food and feeding habits
White perch are usually more active in low light and at night, moving into surface (or coastal) waters at night and retreating to deeper waters during the day. They feed on many species of small fish such as smelt, killifish, and other species of white bass, and have also been reported to consume crabs, shrimp, small alewives, and herring.
|Conservation status||Least Concern|
|Life span, years||No information|
|Maximum body weight, kg||22|
|Maximum length, cm||49.5|
|Sailing speed, m/s||No information|
|Threat to people||Edible|
|Way of eating||Planktonophage|