Iowa Fish Atlas

Yellow perch-Perca flavescens

Native: Yes

State Rank: S5

ITIS Code: 168469          

National Rank: N5           

Global Rank: G5

Modeled By: Anna Loan-Wilsey

State Range:

The yellow perch primarily inhabits the natural lakes, man-made lakes and river impoundments of Iowa.  It reaches its greatest abundance in the natural lakes in northern Iowa (Harlan et al. 1987).  The yellow perch is also occasionally taken in the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.  In Iowa’s interior streams, the yellow perch occurs in the upper reaches of the major river drainages, including the Des Moines, Cedar, Raccoon, Shellrock and Little Sioux rivers.

Habitat Affinities:

The yellow perch primarily occurs in lakes and impoundments (Cross and Collins 1995; Etnier and Starnes 1993; Harlan et al. 1987; Pflieger 1997; Phillips et. al. 1982), where they can be extremely abundant (Eddy and Underhill, 1974).  It can be found in brackish water along the Atlantic seaboard (Etnier and Starnes 1993), but it generally occupies clear, quiet waters with rocky or sandy bottoms, in association with aquatic vegetation near the shore (Becker 1983; Cross and Collins 1995; Etnier and Starnes 1993; Phillips et. al. 1982; Smith 1979).  Adults prefer deep water, and move out into open water to feed in the early evening (Cross and Collins 1995; Eddy and Underhill 1974; Phillips et. al. 1982).

Predictive Model(s):

Statewide Model: by 8-digit HU [Decision Tree Analysis n=94]

The distribution is based upon existing collection records.

("TEMP_CODE" = 2 AND

(( "SOIL_TEXT" > 4 AND "SOIL_TEXT" <= 6) AND "MAXELEVR" > 4))

Mississippi River Model:

The distribution is based upon existing collection records and professional review.

("pool" >= 'S08' AND "pool" <= 'S20')

Missouri River Model

The distribution is based upon existing collection records and professional review.

("pool" >= 'O17' AND "pool" <= 'O18')

Overall Prediction:

("TEMP_CODE" = 2 AND

(( "SOIL_TEXT" > 4 AND "SOIL_TEXT" <= 6) AND "MAXELEVR" > 4))OR

("pool" >= 'S08' AND "pool" <= 'S20') OR ("pool" >= 'O17' AND "pool" <= 'O18')

Literature Cited:

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Cross, F.B., and J.T. Collins.  1995.  Fishes in Kansas.  University of Kansas Natural History Museum, Public Education Series No. 14, Lawrence, Kansas.   315 pp.

Eddy, S., and J.C. Underhill.  1974.  Northern fishes; with special reference to the upper Mississippi Valley.  University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota.  414 pp.

Etnier, D.A., and W.E. Starnes.  1993.  The fishes of Tennessee.  University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, Tennessee.  681 pp.

Harlan, J.R., E.B. Speaker, and J. Mayhew.  1987.  Iowa fish and fishing. Iowa Conservation Commission, Des Moines, Iowa. 323pp.

Pflieger, W.L.  1997.  The fishes of Missouri.  Missouri Department of Conservation, Jefferson City, Missouri.  372 pp.

Phillips, G.L., W.D. Schmid, and J.C. Underhill.  1982.  Fishes of the Minnesota region.  University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota.  248 pp.

Smith, P.W.  1979.  The fishes of Illinois.  University of Illinois Press, Urbana, Illinois.  314 pp.

Data Sources:

Atchison, G.J., R.W. Bachmann, J.G., Nickum,  J.B. Barnumand, and M.B. Sandheinrich.

1986.  Aquatic biota associated with channel stabilization structures and abandoned channels in the middle Missouri River. Final Report.  Environmental and water quality operational studies.  Technical Report E-86-6.  Department of the Army, US Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, D.C.

Bernstein, N.P., M. Getting, T. Kamp, S. Christian, R. Smith, J. Steele, and S. Steele. 

2000.  The status of the blacknose shiner (Notropis heterolepis) in Iowa: A preliminary survey.  Journal of the Iowa Academy of Sciences 107(1):16-20.

Berry, C.R., D.L. Galat, and M.L. Wildhaber.  2004.  Fish distribution and abundance. 

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the upper Little Sioux River.  Iowa Academy of Science 77:177-184.

Clear Lake Fish Management.  2002.  Field notes and unpublished reports.  Northwest

Management District, Fisheries Bureau, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Clear Lake, Iowa.

Cleary, R.E.  1956.  Summary of the cooperative exploratory fishing operations in the

Wisconsin-Illinois-Iowa sections of the Mississippi River- 1956.  Job Description Investigations Projects.  Iowa Conservation Commission, Des Moines, Iowa.

Cleary, R.E.  1958.  Summary of 1958 electro-fishing surveys in pools 9 through 19-

Mississippi River.  Project F-53-R.   Job Description Investigations Projects.  Iowa Conservation Commission, Des Moines, Iowa.

Cleary, R.E., and  J. Hlavacek.  1957.  Summary of 1957 UMRCC exploratory fishing in

pools 8 to13.  Job Description Investigations Projects.  Iowa Conservation Commission, Des Moines, Iowa.

DeCook, R., and Cleary, R.E.  1960.  Fishing gear evaluation Mississippi River - 1960.

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Dowell, V.  1981.  Collections in Cedar River Basin, 1956-1981.  University of Northern

Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa.

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fishes in the channelized Missouri River with special reference to the effects of two nuclear power generating stations.  Pages 224-277 in L.W. Hesse, G.L. Hergenrader, H.S. Lewis, S.D. Reetz, and A.B. Schlesinger, editors. The Middle Missouri River: a collection of papers on the biology with special reference to power station effects.  The Missouri River Study Group, Norfolk, Nebraska.

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and bank stabilization on warmwater sport fish in Iowa: Subproject No. 5.  Effects of long-reach stream channelization on distribution and abundance of fishes.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Contract 14-16-0008-745.  Iowa Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, Ames, Iowa.

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Mississippi River.  Job Description Investigations Projects.  Iowa Conservation Commission, Des Moines, Iowa.

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of Iowa waters of Mississippi River - May, 1959.   Job Description Investigations Projects.  Iowa Conservation Commission, Des Moines, Iowa.

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of Iowa waters of Mississippi River - 1960.  Job Description Investigations Projects.  Iowa Conservation Commission, Des Moines, Iowa.

Molamphy, T.J., and R.E. Cleary.  1960.  Administrative summary of the 1960 trap-net

survey of Iowa waters of Mississippi River.  Job Description Investigations Projects.  Iowa Conservation Commission, Des Moines, Iowa.

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No. 3.  Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Des Moines, Iowa.

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Management District, Fisheries Bureau, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Orleans, Iowa.

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Proceedings of the Ninth Annual Meeting, Upper Mississippi River Conservation Committee, Rock Island, Illinois.

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August 1984.  No. 85-1.  Iowa Department of Water, Air and Waste Management, Des Moines, Iowa.

Van Vooren, A.  1981.  Relative utilization of Mississippi River habitats as fish nursery

areas.  Project 81-III-C-11.  Job Completion Reports.  Iowa Conservation Commission, Des Moines, Iowa.

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Additional References:

Bailey, R.M., J.E. Fitch, E.S. Herald, E.A. Lachner, C.C. Lindsey, C.R. Robins, and W.B. Scott.  1970.  A list of common and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada.  American Fisheries Society Special Publication No. 6. 149 pp.

Bart, H.L., Jr., and L.M. Page.  1992.  The influence of size and phylogeny on life history variation in North American percids.  Pages 553-572 in R. L. Mayden, editor.  Systematics, historical ecology, and North American freshwater fishes.  Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calfiornia. xxvi + 969 pp.

Brazo, D.C., P.I. Tack, and C.R. Liston. 1975.  Age, growth, and fecundity of yellow perch, Perca flavescens, in Lake Michigan near Ludington, Michigan.  Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 104(4): 726-730.

Carlson, A.R., J. Blocher, and L.J. Herman.  1980.  Growth and survival of channel catfish and yellow perch exposed to lowered constant and diurnally fluctuating dissolved oxygen concentrations.  Progressive Fish-Culturist 42(2):73-78.

Clady, M.D.  1974.  Food habits of yellow perch, smallmouth bass and largemouth bass in two unproductive lakes in northern Michigan.  American Midland Naturalist 91(2): 453-459.

Clady, M.D.  1976.  Influence of temperature and wind on the survival of early stages of yellow perch, Perca flavescens.  Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada33(9): 1887-1893.

Clay, W.M.  1975.  The fishes of Kentucky.  Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Frankfort, Kentucky.  416 pp.

Clugston, J.P., J.L. Oliver, and R. Ruelle. 1978.  Reproduction, growth, and standing crops of yellow perch in southern reservoirs.  American Fisheries Society Special Publication 11: 89-99.

Cooper, G.P., and G.N. Washburn.  1946.  Relation of dissolved oxygen to winter mortality of fish in Michigan lakes. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 76:23-33.

Coots, M.  1956.  The yellow perch, Perca flavescens (Mitchell), in the Klamath River.  California Fish and Game 42(7): 219-229.

Craig, J.  1987.  The biology of perch and related species.  Timber Press, Portland, Oregon.  333 pp.

Dewey, M.R., and C.A. Jennings.  1994.  Factors limiting the distribution of larval and juvenile fishes in vegetated habitats of the upper Mississippi River.  National Biological Survey, National Fisheries Research Center, La Crosse, Wisconsin for the National Biological Survey, Environmental Management Technical Center, Onalaska, Wisconsin.  EMTC 94-S005. Part I, 61 pp. Part II, 19 pp.

Faurot, M.W., and R.G. White.  1994.  Feeding ecology of larval fishes in Lake Roosevelt, Washington.  Northwest Science 68(3): 189-196.

Ferguson, R.G.  1958.  The preferred temperature of fish and their midsummer distribution in temperate lakes and streams.  Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada 15(4): 607-624.

Gelwicks, G.T.  1995.  Fish movement between the lower Missouri River and a managed floodplain wetland in Missouri.  Master’s thesis. University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri. 190 pp.

Hall, D.J., and E.E. Werner. 1977.  Seasonal distribution and abundance of fishes in the littoral zone of a Michigan lake.  Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 106(6): 545-555.

Hartman, K.J, B. Vondracek, and D.L. Parrish.  1992.  Diets of emerald and spottail shiners and potential interactions with other western Lake Erie planktivorous fishes.  Journal of Great Lakes Research 18(1):43-50.

Hasler, A.D.  1945.  Observations on the winter perch population of Lake Mendota.  Ecology 26(1): 90-94.

Hergenrader, G.L., and A.D. Hasler.  1966.  Diel activity and vertical distribution of yellow perch (Perca flavescens) under the ice.  Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada 23(4): 499-509.

Herman, E.F., W. Wisby, L. Wiegert, and M. Burdick. 1959.  The yellow perch-its life history, ecology, and management.  Wisconsin Conservation Department Publication 228.  14 pp.

Hokanson, K.E.F.  1977.  Temperature requirements of some percids and adaptations to the seasonal temperature cycle.  Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada 34:1524-1550.

Holland-Bartels, L.E., S.K. Littlejohn, and M.L. Huston.  1990.  A guide to larval fishes of the upper Mississippi River.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Fisheries Research Center, La Crosse, Wisconsin. 107 pp.

Johnson, F.H.  1977.  Responses of walleye (Stizostedion vitreum vitreum) and yellow perch (Perca flavescens) populations to removal of white sucker (Catostomus commersoni) from a Minnesota Lake, 1966.  Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada 34(10): 1633-1642.

Kallemeyn, L.W., and  J. F. Novotny.  1977.  Fish and fish food organisms in various habitats of the Missouri River in South Dakota, Nebraska, and Iowa.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Publication FWS/OBS 77/25, Washington, D.C.  100 pp.

Keast, A. 1977.  Diet overlaps and feeding relationships between the year classes in the yellow perch (Perca flavescens).  Environmental Biology of Fishes 2: 53-70.

Keast, A., and D. Webb. 1966.  Mouth and body form relative to feeding ecology in the fish fauna of a small lake, Lake Opinicon, Ontario.  Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada 23:1847-1874.

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Lester, R.J.G.  1977.  An estimate of the mortality in a population of Perca flavescens, owing to the trematode Diplestamum adamsi.  Canadian Journal of Zoology 55(2): 288-292.

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Moyle, P.  1969.  Ecology of the fishes of a Minnesota lake, with special reference to the Cyprinidae. Ph.D. dissertation,  University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Minnesota.  169 pp.

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Nelson, W.R., and C.H. Walburg.  1977.  Population dynamics of yellow perch (Perca flavescens), sauger (Stizostedion canadense) and walleye (S. vitreum vitreum) in four main stem Missouri River reservoirs.  Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada 34(10):1748-1763.

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Nielson, L.A.  1980.  Effect of walleye (Stizostedion vitreum vitreum) predation on juvenile mortality and recruitment of yellow perch (Perca flavescens) in Oneida Lake, New York.  Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 37(1): 11-19.

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Pycha, R.L., and L.L. Smith, Jr.  1954.  Early life history of the yellow perch (Perca flavescens) in the Red Lakes, Minnesota.  Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 84: 249-260.

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Siefert, R.E.  1972.  First food of larval yellow perch, white sucker, bluegill, emerald shiner, and rainbow smelt. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 101(2):219-225.

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Tarby, M.J.  1974. Characteristics of yellow perch cannibalism in Oneida Lake and the relation to first year survival. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 103: 462-471.

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Thorpe, J.E.  1977.  Morphology, physiology, behavior, and ecology of Perca fluviatilis l. and P. flavescens Mitchill. Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada 34(10): 1504-1514.

Timmons, T. J.  1984.  Comparitive food habits and habitat preference of age-0 largemouth bass and yellow perch in West Point Lake, Alabama-Georgia.  Proceedings of the Annual Conference of Southeastern Fish and Wildlife Agencies 38:302-312

Wells, L.  1980.  Food of alewives, yellow perch, spottail shiners, trout-perch, and slimy and fourhorn sculpins in southeastern Lake Michigan.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Technical Paper 98. 12 pp.

Werner, E.E., D.J. Hall, D.R. Laughlin, D.J. Wagner, L.A. Wilsmann, and F.C. Funk.  1977.  Habitat partitioning in a freshwater fish community.  Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada 34(3):360-370.

Photo Credits:

Upper Left:       Photo courtesy of Konrad P. Schmidt, copyright Konrad P. Schmidt.

Upper Right:     Photo courtesy of the Native Fish Conservancy, http://www.nativefish.org.