Perch (Perca Fluviatilis)

Identification.

Perch (Perca Fluviatilis)

The shape of the body varies, depending on nutrition, mostly slender bodied with a short head, rounded, blunt snout. Perch have wo dorsal fins, the first with 13-15 long spines, joined at the base to the second dorsal. Anal fin is short based with 2 sharp spines at the front. Pelvic fins are set close together, each with a spine in it. Teeth in the jaws are numerous, but small, no large canines.

Perch colouration, back greeny-brown becoming green on the sides and creamy on the belly. A series of dark vertical bars run along the sides and an intense dark spot at the end of the spiny dorsal fin, ventral fins are deep orange.

Habitat.

Lives mainly in lowland lakes and slow-flowing rivers, can be found in all types of still water, in which it will survive but not thrive. When young, they form small schools which gather under bridges or over hanging trees or bushes, older fish tend to be more solitary.

Food.

Young Perch eat large numbers of planktonic crustaceans, later feeding on aquatic insect larvae. Older fish will feed on small fish (including Perch) but will also feed on insects.

Breeding.

Perch spawn April to May in shallow water. Their eggs are shed in long strands which are woven around plants and tree roots.

Statistics.

The average size that many people will catch will be up to about 3/4 lb, but for those who persue better fish 3lb and over is not impossible. The current UK record Perch is 5lb 9oz (2002).

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