Fishy lab

Perch Dissection lab Emily Myers-Pre-ap biology-Vu

Perca flavescens

Also known as the perch, the Perca flavescens are carnivorous fish that are most commonly found in small ponds, lakes, streams, or rivers. These fish feed on smaller fish, shellfish, or insect larvae, but can be caught with nearly any bait. They commonly spawn during the spring, when the females lay strings of eggs in covered areas such as near branches or underwater plants. Even though Perch can be found all over the world, they are most likely found in the Great Lakes, Particularly in Lake Erie.These fish typically only reach a size of about 15 in and 2.2 lb (1 kg).

Circulatory system of a common perch

The circulatory system of the perch is a typical low pressure single type system in which the heart is a single pump and there is a single circuit of blood flow. Venous (deoxygenated) blood from the body is pumped through the heart forward to the gills. From the gills, where it is oxygenated, the blood goes directly to the body. Thus the blood makes a single circuit during which it is pumped, oxygenated, and distributed to the body, before it returns to the heart. In this pattern of circulation the heart pumps only deoxygenated blood.

Yellow perch habitat

Yellow perch are native to North America in the northern region east of the Rocky Mountains, including tributaries of the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans and the Mississippi River. Native distribution was driven by postglacial melt from the Mississippi River. It has been widely dispersed from its native range. Its distribution to other areas of the eastern US and Canada are due to its popularity as a sport and commercial fish, as well as being a forage fish for other sport fish species, such as bass or walleye. The current native and introduced range in the United States is through northern Missouri to western Pennsylvania to South Carolina and north to Maine. Introduced areas currently have not expanded outside of North America. These introductions were predominately performed by the US Fish Commission in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The non-native dispersal was not as intense in Canada. It was primarily limited to the lakes in the Peace River drainage of British Columbia, but has currently expanded to other bordering areas since.[3]


Yellow perch are commonly found in the littoral zones of both large and small lakes, but also inhabit slow-moving rivers and streams, brackish waters, and ponds. Due to human intervention, they are currently found in many man-made lakes, reservoirs, and river impoundments. The perch are most abundant in lakes which may be warm or cool and are extremely productive in smaller lakes where they can dominate unless controlled by predation.

Common Perch Predators

Predators of Yellow Perch include larger fish, such as Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Black Crappie, Channel Catfish, Chain Pickerel, Walleye, Bluegill and other sunfish. Birds, including herons, gulls, eagles, hawks, kingfishers, and mergansers eat them as well.


Other fish-eating animals, such as turtles and bullfrogs may also take a Yellow Perch.

Ecology of a perch

Primarily age and body size determine the diets of yellow perch. Zooplankton is the primary food source for young and larval perch. By age one, they shift to macroinvertebrates, such as midges and mosquitos. Large adult perch feed on invertebrates, fish eggs, crayfish, mysid shrimp, and juvenile fish. They have been known to be predominantly piscivorous and even cannibalistic in some cases. About 20% of the diet of a yellow perch over 32 grams (1.1 oz) in weight consists of small fish. Maximum feeding occurs just before dark, with typical consumption averaging 1.4% of their body weight.