White perch (Morone americana)

White perch.
White perch.

Species and Origin: The white perch is a fish in the temperate basses family (Moronidae). The adults range between 7 to 12 inches in length. White perch are native to Atlantic coastal region of the United States and invaded the Great Lakes through the Erie and Welland canals.

Impacts: White perch are competitors of native fish species and have the potential to cause declines of fish populations because they eat the eggs of walleye and other fish species.

Status: They are found in all the Great Lakes and in inland waters in Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, and Ohio. The first observation of white perch in Lake Superior waters was in Duluth Harbor in 1986. They are not known to be present in inland waters in Minnesota.

Means of spread: Unauthorized stocking has been source of spread to inland waters in other states.

Where to look: White perch spawn in tributaries along the Great Lakes in April and May.

Regulatory Classification: It is a prohibited invasive species (DNR), which means import, possession, transport, and introduction into the wild is prohibited.

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