Perks of being a Perch

exploring the perch with Sarah

The Majestic Perch

The perch, Perca flavescens, is a common gamefish. Perch are carnivores that live in ponds, lakes, rivers or streams. Their diet consists of small prey, such as small fish, insect larvae, or shellfish. Perch are most commonly found in the Great Lakes, but are known to live throughout the United States, Europe, and Canada. They typically reside in clear water, with a moderate temperature. Some adaptations of the perch include their palatines, the specialized teeth that they use to eat small fish. Perch are hunted by humans by fishing, sometimes used as food. - Perch Patrol Song

fun facts

  • In 1865, the largest perch ever caught was caught on the Delaware River, weighing 4 pounds 3 1/2 ounces
  • the perch raises its dorsal fins when threatened, as a mode of self-defense
  • has a swim bladder for buoyancy
  • perch spawn in the spring

Circulatory System

Perch have a closed circulatory system, consisting of a low pressure single loop. The flow of blood from the heart is unidirectional. Blood is pumped, oxygenated, distributed throughout the body, then it returns to the heart. Gills are also very important in the circulatory system of the perch.

Important organs include:

  • Heart- muscular organ helping blood to circulate
  • Atrium- thin wall layer in heart that assists in the circulation of blood
  • Ventricle- thick wall layer in heart that assists in the pumping of blood
  • Gills- respiratory and excretory organs (four pairs) each formed of two layers of filaments; they enable water to exchange oxygen and ammonium as it circulates over the gills
  • Ventral Aorta- canal circulating the blood from the heart to the gills, then on through the head and the rest of the body


Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Percidae

Genus: Perca

Species: Flavescens

Evolution of the Perch

  • use dorsal fins for protection
  • operculum for protection of gills