Perca fluviatilis, commonly known as the European perch, perch, redfin perch or English perch, is a predatory species of perch found in Europe and Asia. The species is a popular quarry for anglers, and has been widely introduced beyond its native area, into Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. They have caused substantial damage to native fish populations in Australia and have been proclaimed a noxious species in New South Wales.
European perch are greenish with red pelvic, anal and caudal fins. They have five to nine dark vertical bars on their sides.
European perch can vary greatly in size between bodies of water. They can live for up to 22 years, and older perch are often much larger than average; the maximum recorded length is 60 cm (24 in). The British record is 2.8 kg (6 lb 2 oz), but they grow larger in mainland Europe than in Britain. As at Aug 2012, the official all tackle world record, as recognised by the International Game Fish Association stands at 2.9 kg (6 lb 6 oz) for a Finnish fish. In January 2010 a perch with a weight of 3.75 kg (8 lb 4 oz) has been caught in the River Meuse, Netherlands. Due to the low salinity levels of the Baltic Sea, especially around the Finnish archipelago and Bothnian Sea, many freshwater fish live and thrive there. Perch especially are in abundance and grow to a considerable size due to the diet of Baltic herring.
The perch spawns (in the Northern Hemisphere) at the end of April or beginning of May, depositing the eggs upon water plants, or the branches of trees or shrubs that have become immersed in the water; it does not come into condition again until July. The eggs have been known to stick to the legs of wading birds and then transferred to other waters where the birds visit.
The first scientific description of the river perch was made by Peter Artedi in 1730. He defined the basic morphological signs of this species after studying perch from Swedish lakes. Artedi described its features, counting the fin rays scales and vertebrae of the typical perch.
Baits for perch include minnows, goldfish, weather loaches, pieces of raw Squid or pieces of raw fish (Mackerel, Bluey, Jack mackerel, Sardine), or brandling, red, marsh, and lob worms, shrimp (Caridina, Neocaridina, Palaemon, Macrobrachium), peeled crayfish tails, and artificial lures. The tackle needed is fine but strong. Artificial lures are also effective, particularly for medium-sized perch.
Keeping of perch requires a large tank and a suitable diet. The tank needs to be thickly planted with plants such as Elodea, Egeria, and others. Perch can be kept in ponds with other appropriate fish; as with most fish, larger ones may consume fry if they are available. A suitable diet is earthworm, flakes, silversides, and frozen foods such as blackworm. If fed properly, perch are less likely to feed on small fish. In the canal perch normally feed at the bottom of the current looking for any food worms/other smaller fish.
Relation to the yellow perch
Because of their similar appearance and ability to cross-breed, the yellow perch (Perca flavescens) has sometimes been classified as a subspecies of the European perch, in which case its trinomial name would be Perca fluviatilis flavescens.
- "Official World Record".
- "Synonyms of Perca fluviatilis Linnaeus, 1758". FishBase. Retrieved 2009-11-23.
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- J. Freyhof & M. Kottelat (2008). "Perca fluviatilis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
- "Perca fluviatilis". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 6 June 2006.
- Fishbase.org - European perch
- Redfin Perch – Perca fluviatilis
- Perch details