Perca flavescens
Perca flavescens
(Yellow Perch)
Native Transplant
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Perca flavescens (Mitchill, 1814)

Common name: Yellow Perch

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Becker (1983); Page and Burr (1991); Etnier and Starnes (1993); Jenkins and Burkhead (1994).

Size: 40 cm.

Native Range: Atlantic, Arctic, Great Lakes, and Mississippi River basins from Nova Scotia and Quebec west to Great Slave Lake, Northwest Territories, and south to Ohio, Illinois, and Nebraska; south in Atlantic drainages to Santee River, South Carolina (Page and Burr 1991). Goode (1884) reported the species east of the Alleghany Mountains as far south as Georgia.

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Puerto Rico &
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Guam Saipan
Native range data for this species provided in part by NatureServe NS logo
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences: The Yellow Perch has been introduced into Alabama (Smith-Vaniz 1968; Boschung 1992; Mettee et al. 1996); Alaska (Little 2000); Arizona (O'Malley 1920; Miller and Lowe 1967; Minckley 1973; Behnke and Benson 1980); Arkansas (O'Malley 1920); California (Smith 1896; Shebley 1917; Neale 1931; Moyle 1976a; Dill and Cordone 1997); Colorado (O'Malley 1919, 1920; Ellis 1974; Tyus et al. 1982; Propst and Carlson 1986; Rasmussen 1998; Tilmant 1999; Behnke and Benson 1980; Beckman 1952); Connecticut (Johnson 1915; O'Malley 1919, 1920); Florida (Kilby et al. 1959; Yerger 1977; Lee et al. 1980 et seq.); Georgia (Dahlberg and Scott 1971a, 1971b; Yerger 1977); Idaho (Linder 1963; Idaho Fish and Game 1990; Anonymous 2004; Paragamian and Laude 2010); Illinois (Bowers 1906; Johnson 1915; O'Malley 1919, 1920; Smith 1979; Burr and Page 1986); Indiana (Bowers 1906; Johnson 1915; O'Malley 1919, 1920; Nelson and Gerking 1968); Iowa (Titcomb 1904; Bowers 1906; Johnson 1915; O'Malley 1919, 1920); Kansas (O'Malley 1919; Cross 1967; Cross et al. 1986); Kentucky (Johnson 1915; O'Malley 1919, 1920; Burr and Warren 1986); Maine (O'Malley 1920; Tilmant 1999); Maryland (Bowers 1906; Johnson 1915; O'Malley 1919, 1920; Lee et al. 1976); Massachusetts (Bowers 1906; Johnson 1915; O'Malley 1919, 1920); Minnesota (O'Malley 1919; Johnson 1915); Mississippi (Bowers 1905; O'Malley 1919; Mettee et al. 1996); Missouri (Johnson 1915; O'Malley 1919, 1920; Pflieger 1997); Montana (Brown 1971; Cross et al. 1986; Holton 1990; Whitmore 1997; Cushing 2003; Madison 2003; USFWS 2005); Nebraska (Smith 1896; O'Malley 1919; Lee et al. 1980 et seq.; Cross et al. 1986); Nevada (Miller and Alcorn 1946; La Rivers 1962; Deacon and Williams 1984); New Jersey (Johnson 1915; O'Malley 1919); New Mexico (Johnson 1915; Sublette et al. 1990); New York (Bean 1903; Bowers 1906; Johnson 1915; O'Malley 1920); North Carolina (Johnson 1915; O'Malley 1919; Menhinick 1991; Jenkins and Burkhead 1994); North Dakota (Titcomb 1904; Johnson 1915; O'Malley 1919, 1920); Ohio (Trautman 1981; Burr and Page 1986; Hocutt et al. 1986); Oklahoma (Johnson 1915; O'Malley 1919, 1920; Hall 1956; Miller and Robison 1973); Oregon (Lampman 1946; Bond 1994; Shrader 2000; State of Oregon 2000; Anonymous 2001; Logan 1995; USFWS 2005); Pennsylvania (Johnson 1915; O'Malley 1919, 1920); South Carolina (Johnson 1915; Dahlberg and Scott 1971a); South Dakota (Johnson 1915; O'Malley 1920; Bailey and Allum 1962); Tennessee (Lee et al. 1980 et seq.; Starnes and Etnier 1986; Ryon and Loar 1988; Etnier and Starnes 1993); Texas (Hubbs et al. 1991; Waldrip 1993; Anonymous 1994); Utah (Sigler and Miller 1963; Tyus et al. 1982; Behnke and Benson 1980); Vermont (Bowers 1906; Johnson 1915; O'Malley 1919, 1920); Virginia (Bowers 1906; Johnson 1915; O'Malley 1919, 1920; Hocutt et al. 1986; Jenkins and Burkhead 1994); Washington (Smith 1896; Johnson 1915; Chapman 1942; Lampman 1946; Gray and Dauble 1977; Wydoski and Whitney 1979; USFWS 2005); West Virginia (Hocutt et al. 1986; Stauffer et al. 1995); and Wyoming (Baxter and Simon 1970; Hubert 1994; Behnke and Benson 1980).

Means of Introduction: Primarily introduced through stocking, either intentional release by fisheries agencies or bait-bucket transers by anglers.

Status: Established in most areas where introduced. Extirpated in Arkansas.

Impact of Introduction: Yellow Perch compete with trout for food and likely prey on young trout (Coots 1966). Nonnative predators, including Yellow Perch, have been shown to reduce the abundance and diversity of native prey species in several Pacific Northwest rivers (Hughes and Herlihy 2012).

Remarks: Although Yerger (1977) and Lee et al. (1980 et seq.) considered this species to be introduced into the Apalachicola River in Florida, it may actually be native. Because the Apalachicola drainage was not adequately sampled in early years, introduced status may be incorrectly assumed for some species. Yellow Perch was first collected in the Mobile basin circa 1850, long before any stocking took place, indicating the species was native to this region. This record was overlooked by Lee et al. (1980 et seq.). Hence, Perca flavescens may be native to eastern Gulf drainages in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, not introduced. Populations in Atlantic coastal drainages of Georgia, such as the Altamaha and Savannah, have been reported (Dahlberg and Scott 1971b) to be introduced. In fact we believe these populations are more likely native. Dill and Cordone (1997) gave a detailed history of this species and its introduction into California.

References: (click for full references)

Anonymous 2004. Idaho warm water fish.

Bailey, R.M. and M.O. Allum. 1962. Fishes of South Dakota. Miscellaneous Publications of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 119:1-131.

Baxter, G.T., and J.R. Simon. 1970. Wyoming Fishes. Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Cheyenne, WY.

Becker, G.C. 1983. Fishes of Wisconsin. University of Madison Press, Madison, WI.

Beckman, W.C. Guide to the fishes of Colorado. Colorado Department of Game and Fish, Boulder, CO.

Behnke, R.J., and D.E. Benson. 1980. Endangered and threatened fishes of the upper Colorado River basin. Cooperative Extension Service Bulletin 503A, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO.

Boschung, H.T. 1992. Catalog of freshwater and marine fishes of Alabama. Bulletin of the Alabama Museum of Natural History 14:1-266.

Bond, C.E. 1994. Keys to Oregon freshwater fishes. Oregon State University Bookstores, Corvallis, OR.

Bowers, G.A. 1905. Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries to the Secretary of Commerce and Labor for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1904. Government Printing office, Washington, DC.

Bowers, G.A. 1906. The distribution of food fishes during the fiscal year 1906. Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries for the Fiscal Year 1906 and Special Papers, Bureau of Fisheries Document 613, Government Printing office, Washington, DC.

Brown, C.J.D. 1971. Fishes of Montana. Montana State University, Bozeman, MT.

Burr, B.M., and M.L. Warren, Jr. 1986. A distributional atlas of Kentucky fishes. Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission, Frankfort, KY.

Burr, B.M., and L.M. Page. 1986. Zoogeography of the fishes of the lower Ohio-upper Mississippi basin. 287-324 in C.H. Hocutt and E.O. Wiley, eds. The zoogeography of North American freshwater fishes. John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY.

Chapman, W.M. 1942. Alien fishes in the waters of the Pacific northwest. California Fish and Game 28:9-15.

Coots, M. 1966. Yellow perch. 426-430 in A. Calhoun, ed. Inland Fisheries Management. California Department of Fish and Game.

Cross, F.B. 1967. Handbook of fishes of Kansas. State Biological Survey and University of Kansas Meuseum of Natural History, Topeka, KS.

Cross, F.B., R.L. Mayden, and J.D. Stewart. 1986. Fishes in the western Mississippi basin (Missouri, Arkansas, and Red Rivers). 363-412 in C.H. Hocutt and E.O. Wiley, eds. The zoogeography of North American freshwater fishes. John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY.

Cushing, B. 2003. Letters - Bucket biology. Montana Outdoors 34(5):2.

Dahlberg, M.D., and D.C. Scott. 1971. The freshwater fishes of Georgia. Bulletin of the Georgia Academy of Science 29:1-64.

Dahlberg, M.D., and D.C. Scott. 1971. Introductions of freshwater fishes in Georgia. Bulletin of the Georgia Academy of Science 29:245-252.

Deacon, J.E., and J.E. Williams. 1984. Annotated list of the fishes of Nevada. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 97(1):103-118.

Dill, W.A., and A.J. Cordone. 1997. History and status of introduced fishes in California, 1871-1996. California Department of Fish and Game Fish Bulletin, volume 178.

Ellis, M.M. 1974. Fishes of Colorado. University of Colorado Studies 11(1):1-136.

Etnier, D.A., and W.C. Starnes. 1993. The fishes of Tennessee. University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN.

Goode, G.B. 1884. The Fisheries and Fishery Industries of the United States. Section I: natural history of useful aquatic animals. Government Printing Office, Washington.

Gray, R.H., and D.D. Dauble. 1977. Checklist and relative abundance of fish species from the Hanford reach of the Columbia River. Northwest Science 51(3):208-215.

Hall, G.E. 1956. Additions to the fish fauna of Oklahoma with a summary of introduced species. Southwestern Naturalist 1(1):16-26.

Halliwell, D.B. 2003. Introduced fish in Maine. MAPB series: Focus on Freshwater Biodiversity.

Hocutt, C.H., R.E. Jenkins, and J.R. Stauffer, Jr. 1986. Zoogeography of the fishes of the central Appalachians and central Atlantic Coastal Plain. 161-212 in C.H. Hocutt and E.O. Wiley, eds. The zoogeography of North American freshwater fishes. John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY.

Holton, G.D. 1990. A field guide to Montana fishes. Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, Helena, MT.

Hubbs, C., R.J. Edwards, and G.P. Garrett. 1991. An annotated checklist of freshwater fishes of Texas, with key to identification of species. Texas Journal of Science, Supplement 43(4):1-56.

Hubert, W. 1994. Exotic fish. 158-174 in T.L. Parrish, and S.H. Anderson, eds. Exotic species manual. Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Laramie, WY.

Hughes, R.M. and A.T. Herlihy. 2012. Patterns in catch per unit effort of native prey fish and alien piscivorous fish in 7 Pacific Northwest USA rivers. Fisheries 37(5):201-211.

Idaho Fish and Game. 1990. Fisheries management plan 1991-1995. Appendix I - a list of Idaho fishes and their distribution by drainage. Idaho Fish and Game, Boise, ID.

Jenkins, R.E., and N.M. Burkhead. 1994. Freshwater Fishes of Virginia. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD.

Johnson, R.S. 1915. The distribution of fish and fish eggs during the fiscal year 1914. Appendix I to the Report of the U.S. Commissioner of Fisheries for 1914. Bureau of Fisheries Document 808.

Kilby, J.D., E. Crittenden, and L.E. Williams. 1959. Several fishes new to Florida freshwaters. Copeia 1959(1):77-78.

Lampman, B.H. 1946. The coming of the pond fishes. Binfords and Mort, Portland, OR.

La Rivers, I. 1962. Fishes and fisheries of Nevada. Nevada State Print Office, Carson City, NV.

Lee, D.S., C.R. Gilbert, C.H. Hocutt, R.E. Jenkins, D.E. McAllister, and J.R. Stauffer, Jr. 1980. Atlas of North American freshwater fishes. North Carolina State Museum of Natural History, Raleigh, NC.

Lee, D.S., A. Norden, C.R. Gilbert, and R. Franz. 1976. A list of the freshwater fishes of Maryland and Delaware. Chesapeake Science 17(3):205-211.

Linder, A.D. 1963. Idaho's alien fishes. Tebiwa 6(2):12-15.

Little, J. 2000. State to poison perch. Anchorage Daily News, June 8th.

Logan, D.J. 1994. A checklist of the fishes of Benton County, Oregon. American Currents 1994(Summer):16-18.

Madison, D. 2003. Outlaw introductions. Montana Outdoors 34(4):26-35.

Menhinick, E. F. 1991. The freshwater fishes of North Carolina. North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. 227 pp.

Mettee, M.F., P.E. O'Neil, and J.M. Pierson. 1995. Fishes of Alabama and the Mobile basin. Oxmoor House, Inc., Birmingham, AL.

Miller, R.J., and H. W. Robison. 1973. The fishes of Oklahoma. Oklahoma State University Press, Stillwater, OK.

Miller, R.R., and J.R. Alcorn. 1946. The introduced fishes of Nevada, with a history of their introduction. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 73:173-193.

Miller, R.R., and C.H. Lowe. 1967. Part 2. Fishes of Arizona. 133-151 in C.H. Lowe, ed. The Vertebrates of Arizona. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, AZ.

Minckley, W.L. 1973. Fishes of Arizona. Arizona Fish and Game Department, Sims Printing Company, Inc., Phoenix, AZ.

Moyle, P.B. 1976. Inland fishes of California. Unviersity of California Press, Berkeley, CA.

Neale, G. 1931. Spiny-rayed fresh water game fishes of California inland waters. California Fish and Game 17(1):1-17.

Nelson, J.S., and S.D. Gerking. 1968. Annotated key to the fishes of Indiana. Project 342-303-815. Department of Zoology, Indiana Aquatic Research Unit, Indiana State University, Bloomington, IN.

O'Malley, H. 1919. The distribution of fish and fish eggs during the fiscal year 1918. Appendix I to the Report of the U.S. Commissioner of Fisheries for 1918. Bureau of Fisheries Document 863.

O'Malley, H. 1920. The distribution of fish and fish eggs during the fiscal year 1919. Appendix I to the Report of the U.S. Commissioner of Fisheries for 1918. Bureau of Fisheries Document 878.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. 2000. Warm Water Game Fish Records. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Portland, OR.

Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr. 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. The Peterson Guide Series, vol. 42. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA.

Paragamian, V.L., and D.C. Laude. 2010. Kootenai River fisheries investigation: stock status of Burbot. Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Boise, ID.

Pflieger, W. 1997. The fishes of Missouri. Missouri Department of Environmental Conservation, Jefferson City, MO.

Propst, D. L., and C. A. Carlson. 1986. The distribution and status of warmwater fishes in the Platte River drainage, Colorado. Southwestern Naturalist 31(2):149--167.

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Ryon, M.G., and J.M. Loar. 1988. A checklist of fishes on the Department of Energy Oak Ridge Reservation. Journal of the Tennessee Academy of Science 63(4):97-102.

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Shrader, T. 2000. Effects of invasive yellow perch on gamefish and zooplankton populations of Phillips Reservoir. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Portland, OR.

Sigler, W.F., and R.R. Miller. 1963. Fishes of Utah. Utah Department of Fish and Game, Salt Lake City, UT.

Smith, H.M. 1896. A review of the history and results of the attemps to acclimatize fish and other water animals in the Pacific states. Bulletin of the U.S. Fish Commission for 1895 1896:379-472.

Smith, P.W. 1979. The fishes of Illinois. University of Illinois Press, Urbana, IL.

Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1968. Freshwater fishes of Alabama. Auburn University Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn, AL.

Starnes, W.C. and D.A. Etnier. 1986. Drainage evolution and fish biogeography of the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers drainage realm. 325-362 in C.H. Hocutt, and E.O. Wiley, eds. The zoogeography of North American freshwater fishes. John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY.

Stauffer, J.R., Jr., J.M. Boltz, and L.R. White. 1995. The fishes of West Virginia. West Virginia Department of Natural Resources.

Sublette, J.E., M.D. Hatch, and M. Sublette. 1990. The fishes of New Mexico. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, NM.

Tilmant, J.T. 1999. Management of nonindigenous aquatic species in the U.S. National Park System. National Park Service.

Titcomb, J.W. 1904. Report on the propagation and distribution of food-fishes. Report of the Commissioner for the year ending June 30, 1902. U.S. Commission on Fish and Fisheries 28:22-110.

Trautman, M.B. 1981. The fishes of Ohio. Ohio State University Press, Columbus, OH.

Tyus, H. M., B. D. Burdick, R. A. Valdez, C. M. Haynes, T. A. Lytle, and C. R. Berry. 1982. Fishes of the upper Colorado River basin: distribution, abundance, and status. Pages 12--70 in W. H. Miller, H. M. Tyus, and C. A. Carlson, editors. Fishes of the upper Colorado River system: present and future, Western Division, American Fisheries Society.

USFWS. 2005. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Wildlife Refuge System Invasive Species Survey Information.

Waldrip, L. 1993. 1992 fish stocking report. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. January 8, 1993. 1993: 9-12.

Whitmore, S. 1997. Aquatic nuisance species in Region 6 of the Fish and Wildlife Service. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Great Plains Fish and Wildlife Management Assistance Office, Pierre, SD.

Wydoski, R.S., and R.R. Whitney. 1979. Inland fishes of Washington. University of Washington Press, Seattle, WA.

Yerger, R.W. 1977. Fishes of the Apalachicola River. Florida Marine Research Publications 26:22-33.

Other Resources:
Distribution in Illinois - Illinois Natural History Survey

Global Invasive Species Database Factsheet

FishBase Summary

Author: Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson

Revision Date: 5/29/2012

Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016

Citation Information:
Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson, 2018, Perca flavescens (Mitchill, 1814): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL,, Revision Date: 5/29/2012, Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016, Access Date: 3/22/2018

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.

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Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2018]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [3/22/2018].

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