White Perch - Morone americana

White Perch large.jpg

Habitat requirements and life history: The white perch (3.9 to 19.0 inches) is a native of Massachusetts coastal streams, and an important, anadromous sport and game fish. Land-locked populations have also become established in lakes, ponds and rivers. The white perch is misnamed as it is actually a member of the bass family. These active schooling fish feed on small fishes, fish eggs and larval insects. White perch spawn in spring or early summer. Female white perch may also overpopulate a waterbody and prevent other species from thriving. They spawn in shallow water when the water temperature reaches about 55 degrees Fahrenheit. When females release their eggs, the eggs are fertilized by nearby males. The eggs stick to gravel or other substrate and are abandoned. (Sources: Massachusetts Wildlife, No. 2, 2000, Special Fishing Issue, Freshwater Fishes of the Carolinas, Virginia, Maryland, & Delaware and AMC Guide to Freshwater Fishing in New England)

Total length: 6-10 inches
Pollution tolerance (US EPA): Intermediate tolerance
Classification: Macrohabitat generalist

Number of fish found during 1954 & 2001 Fish Surveys*

Location No. of Fish 1954 No. of Fish 2001
Assabet River 22  
Total 22 0

*Data sources:
DFW. 2001. Assabet Watershed Fish Survey. Mass. Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife), Westborough, MA.

Schlotterbeck, L.C. and W.A. Tompkins. 1954. "A Fisheries Investigation of the Merrimack and Ipswich River Drainages." Bureau of Wildlife Research and Management, Mass. Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Westborough, MA.