White perch

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White perch

The white perch, Morone americana, is not a true perch but is, rather, a fish of the temperate bass family Moronidae, notable as a food and game fish in eastern North America.

Generally silvery-white in colour, hence the name, it has been reported up to 49.5 cm in length and weighing 2.2 kg.

Although favouring 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.

Chesapeake Bay. The raw meat is of a somewhat pinkish hue but, when cooked, it is white and flaky. In some areas they are considered an invasive species and may not be returned to the water if caught. At times a parasite known as Lickher ovalis is located in the gills. They are only known to reduce the growing rate of white perch.

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 its diet.

White perch are a prolific species. The female can deposit over 140,000 eggs in a spawning session, lasting just over a week. Several males will often attend a spawning female, and each may fertilise a portion of her eggs. The young hatch within 1 to 6 days of fertilization.

Given its prolific nature, some states, notably Indiana, have mandated, in law, that all white perch caught shall be killed; an effort to reduce or eliminate the populations invading bodies of water.

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