Yellow Perch

Illustration by Duane Raver
(Enlarge image)

Scientific Name: Perca flavescens

Classification: Game Fish

Abundance: Common in several of the Catawba and Yadkin impoundments, as well as lakes and rivers in the Coastal region of NC.


Yellow perch (Photo by Melissa McGaw/NCWRC)

Yellow perch state record (2 lbs, 9 oz, from Indiantown Creek by Evelyn G. Ethridge; 2/08/1990)

Additional Information

The Yellow Perch is greenish yellow along the back, with darker-colored bands on its sides. It has two separate dorsal fins. The first dorsal fin is spiny, and there is a very sharp edge on the gill covering. The pelvic and anal fins are amber to bright orange. The Yellow Perch is a small fish, averaging around 7 to 9 inches, but its size varies with location.

Yellow Perch are often found in cool, clear lakes, with a sandy or gravelly bottom and rooted underwater vegetation. They also inhabit lakes with soft bottoms. In North Carolina, Yellow Perch are abundant in tannic, blackwater rivers and streams located in the Coastal Plain. Yellow Perch are considered shallow-water dwellers and are not usually caught more than 30 feet deep.

Yellow perch are found in both inland and coastal waters.

The following fishing regulations are effective Aug. 1 of each year.

Inland Fishing Regulations
Regulatory authority between the Wildlife Resources Commission and Division of Marine Fisheries. Inland game fish regulations include Manner of Taking, Seasons and Using Trotlines and Set-hooks.

Warmwater Game Fish
Game fish size and creel limits. Also, Bass and Morone (striped bass) Identification Charts.


Fishing Tips:

Anglers can use many angling methods for yellow perch, including natural baits, such as worms, crickets or maggots. Keep your hook on or near the bottom, suspended under a float. Perch strike lightly so a float may help detect a bite. Small jigs and spinners are also effective.

Places to Fish:

Yellow Perch are caught throughout North Carolina. In the eastern part of the state, good catches of Yellow Perch can occur in Lake Phelps and Lake Waccamaw as well as the Chowan, Neuse, North, Perquimans, Roanoke and Tar-Pamlico rivers and their tributaries. Yellow Perch also can be found in many Piedmont reservoirs, especially those located in the Catawba and Yadkin River basins