Yellow Lake Perch

(Perca Flavescens)

Yellow Lake Perch has been a Great Lakes staple for more than 100 years! Lake Perch is the most valuable commercial catch in Ontario with the greatest commercial production coming from Lake Erie. Heavy production of Lake Perch occurs from June through November when the fish inhabit warmer, shallow waters.

Lake Perch is a cool-water species most common in the open waters of lakes. Since the early 1900s Canada and the United States have been commercial harvesting Yellow Perch in the Great Lakes with Gillnets and Trap-nets. Due to its ability to crossbreed the Yellow Perch is sometimes classified as subspecies of the European Perch, its European cousin. During different seasons, Lake Perch prefer different areas of the lake. In spring, they are found in bottom structures such as rock piles and bottom drop-offs; in summer, they prefer outside edges of submerged vegetation; in fall they are in prominent land points with bottom structures; and in winter, they stay over the flat bottom reaches near bottom structures.

Lake Perch is one of the finest flavored of all the “panfish”, with its sweet tasting white meat. Lake Perch is a versatile option for the end consumer; Lake Perch can be found from Friday Night Fish Fry’s in the Midwest, to Pub style restaurants in the Northeast. As one of the easiest fish to catch, Lake Perch travel in thick schools and tend to come near shore in spring. Lake Perch is available fresh or frozen in fillet form. The fillets either come in butterfly or split form. Best preparation is to be pan fried, but they can also be deep fried or boiled.