Diving into the World of the Perch

By: Audrey Kent- Mitcham Period 2

Background Information

Perca flavescens

The Perca flavescens (common Yellow Perch) are only found in the freshwater's of North America. A perch's body has six different fins that allows it to propel itself forward in water. Perches play a vital role in consuming and feeding organisms in the food chain. They are either male or female and reproduce using sexual reproduction.


Yellow Perch are found in fresh water and find habitats with large amounts of vegetation that provide food, shelter, and protection. Perch generally migrate to deeper waters but will venture back to shallow waters to feed.


Perch tend to be towards the center of food chains. They are preyed on by various predators such as Largemouth Bass, heron, Walleyes and gulls. They use their coloring to camouflage from predators.


Young yellow perch feed on plankton and aquatic insects until they mature. Once they have grown they consume crayfish, small fish, worms and many other organisms.

Ecological Niche

The niche of the Yellow Perch involves stabilizing food chains. They play a vital role of consuming its prey to keep it at a stable population. They also feed their predators so that they don't overpopulate and consume large amount of food. Yellow Perch also have the job to reproduce so that there are enough predators to eat their prey.

Ecological Adaption

Yellow Perch have evolved to better live in their environment. They have evolved to having six different fins that help propel them through water. A spiny and soft dorsal fin are located at the top of the fish, then a pelvic and anal fin, and finally a pectoral fin located on the side of the fish and a caudal fin as its tail. All these fins help with the Yellow Perch's movement through water. A colorful, stripped top side of the perch helps it camouflage with its surrounding. Its colors and stripes match the rocks on the floor of their environment. Predators swimming above the Yellow Perch will only see rocks no the perch! The pale bottom side of the Yellow Perch works as a allusion of water for predators swimming below the perch.

Evolutionary Relationships


Students will be able to understand how each organ system of a perch work. They will dissect and examine the organs and understand its functions. They will also learn about the perches digestive system, other organ systems that work with it and see how food consumed by the perch enters the mouth, works its way through each organ of its organ system and finally exits the body through the anus.
Perch Dissection

Earthworm Dissection

Digestive System

The circulatory and excretory systems work with the perch's digestive system to get everything important out of the food it intakes. In a perches digestive system, food enters the body through the mouth, passes through the esophagus and then into the intestine. Its broken down by bile produced from the liver. Nutrient is taken from the food using the circulatory system and the remaining unwanted waste is excreted through the anus using the excretory system.

Dissecting Perch in Person

Dissecting a perch ended up being really fun and a great hands on experience. I learned a lot about how the perch's internal organ systems work together to form a functioning body. It was interesting seeing the perch cut open in real life and I think it was a better learning experience.

Cross Unit Content


The link below has great information about the ecology of Perch. It's really helpful website that explains all the specifics of a Yellow Perch.



Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Percidae

Genus: Perca

Species: flavescens

human impact/influences

The link below is very informative and describes the effects of human influences and how those influences impact where the perch are located and their behaviors.

Fun Facts!!!

Did you Know...

  • Perch lay their eggs in soft weed beds.
  • The largest perch ever caught was over 4 lbs.
  • Yellow perch are found in 13,000 acres of lakes and ponds.
  • Yellow Perch can live up to 8 years.
  • Females lay about 20,000 eggs in early Spring.
  • Perch are one of the most abundantly available fish species.

do you know perch? quiz yourself!


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  • "The Animal Perch Fish - KidsBiology.com." The Animal Perch Fish - KidsBiology.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.
  • Sengupta, Saptakee. Buzzle.com. Buzzle.com, 19 May 2010. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.
  • "Perch." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 04 Aug. 2014. Web. 09 Apr. 2014.
  • "Yelp." Perch Skin Mount on a Riverbed Habitat. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.
  • "The Life Aquatic." The Life Aquatic. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.
  • "Arctic Loon (Gavia Arctica)." Arctic Loon Photo. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.
  • "Perch (Yellow) -- Exploring Nature Educational Resource." Perch (Yellow) -- Exploring Nature Educational Resource. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.
  • "Parts of a Fish - Fins - Australian Museum." Parts of a Fish - Fins - Australian Museum. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.
  • "Experiment #4." Experiment #4. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.