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perch

perch

[purch]
perch, common name for some members of the family Percidae, symmetrical freshwater fishes of N Europe, Asia, and North America. The perch belongs to the large order Perciformes (spiny-finned fishes) and is related to the sunfishes and the sea basses. Best known is the yellow (also called red) perch (Perca flavescens), a popular game and food fish abundant in lakes and large streams, where it feeds on insects, crayfish, and small fish and grows to an average length of 1 ft (30 cm) and weight of 1 lb (.5 kg). The voracious walleye, or walleyed pike (Stizostedion vitreum), another member of the family, is darker and larger (up to 10 lb/4.5 kg). Very similar to the walleye but slenderer and smaller is the Eastern sauger, or sand pike (S. canadense). The native American darters (2-3 in/5-8 cm), found E of the Rockies, are a subfamily containing many species, most of them brilliantly colored. Of separate families are the pirate perch, a chubby little fish of sluggish streams and bayous (family Aphredoderidae), and the trout perch, or sand roller, a small fish abundant in the Great Lakes (family Mugiloididae). Perches are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Osteichthyes, order Perciformes, family Percidae.

Either of two species (family Percidae, order Perciformes) of popular food and sport fishes: the Eurasian common perch (Perca fluviatilis) or the North American yellow perch (P. flavescens). Some consider the two a single species. Both have one spiny and one soft-rayed dorsal fin. Perches are carnivores of quiet ponds, lakes, streams, and rivers. The common perch is greenish, with dark vertical bars on the sides and reddish in the lower fins. It grows to 6 lbs (3 kg), rarely more. The yellow perch, similar but yellower, grows to about 15 in. (40 cm) and weighs up to 2 lbs (1 kg); it is a popular game fish. Seealso sauger, sea bass, walleye.

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or rosefish or ocean perch

Commercially important food fish (Sebastes marinus) of the scorpion fish family (Scorpaenidae), found in the Atlantic along European and North American coasts. It has a large mouth, large eyes, and spines on its head and cheeks. It grows to about 40 in. (1 m) long. Related species include S. owstoni, a food fish of the Orient, and the Norway haddock (S. viviparus) of Europe. Both are red and grow to about 10 in. (25 cm) long.

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Perca is the genus of fish referred to as perch or, sometimes, yellow perch, a group of freshwater fish belonging to the family Percidae. Perch, of which there are three species in different geographical areas, lend their name to a large order of vertebrates: the Perciformes, from the Greek perke meaning perch, and the Latin forma meaning shape.

Perch have "rough" or ctenoid scales. On the anterior side of the head are the maxilla and lower mandible for the mouth, a pair of nostrils, and two lidless eyes. On the posterior sides are the opercula, which are used to protect the gills. Also there is the lateral line system which is sensitive to vibrations in the water. They have a pair of pectoral and pelvic fins. On the anterior end of the fish, there are two dorsal fins. The first one is spiny and the second is soft. There is also an anal fin, which is also considered spiny, and a caudal fin. Also there is a cloacal opening right behind the anal fin. All perciform fish share the perch's general morphology.'''

The type species for this genus is the European perch.

Perch as a food fish

Perch are a popular panfish and are considered to be very good eating; the commercial catch for them has always been in high demand. This has also led to considerable misuse of the term "perch" in the restaurant business in the United States, such as "ocean perch" (Rosefish) and "rock perch" (a small bass). Many restaurants will strive to correctly advertise the offering as "yellow lake perch", or the slightly more ambiguous "lake perch". "White perch", though good eating, is a completely different species of panfish common in New England, and not a member of the order Perciformes.

Angling

They can be caught with a variety of methods, but the two best methods are perhaps float fishing and lure fishing. Spinners work exceptionally well. When Float Fishing, the angler will want to have a disgorger at all times; Perch are notorious for swallowing the hook, and will need aid of a disgorger or forceps for unhooking. In many parts of the world they are also a favorite species among ice fishermen. They will take a variety of baits, including minnows, worms, maggots, bread and softshell crayfish.

Perch grow to around or more, but the most common fish to be caught are around or less, and anything over is considered a prize catch.

Species

Most authorities recognize three species of perch:

For other perch not in the Perca genus, see Perch (disambiguation).

References

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