River perch useful properties and contraindications

How many lives

The life expectancy of a predator depends on climatic conditions, habitat and the availability of food supply. So, the fish that inhabits water bodies in the temperate climate zone reaches large sizes, but at the same time has a shorter life expectancy. It is believed that the average lifespan of a common perch is 10-15 years. The documented record for the lifespan of a river predator is 23 years. You can roughly determine the age of a caught perch by its size.

Fish body length, cm Age, years
6 1
12 2
16 3
20 4
22 5
31 10
37 15
42 20

Sea bass can be considered real centenarians. It is known that representatives of some species are able to live up to 50 years or more.

Perch appearance

Most of the predator’s exterior features can be easily traced by common and local names: perch (obsolete – eye), sailor or minke whale, humpback. These definitions are enough to represent a tall striped fish with large eyes. The hump behind the head is especially clearly visible in large individuals due to growth not in length and width, but in height.

Features of the body structure

A high, laterally compressed and relatively short body shape (proportions 1:3) is determined by the main hunting method of a predator that prefers not to pursue prey, but to hide in cover, select a target and perform a short throw at high speed, which is why even trophy specimens weighing up to 3.5 kg does not exceed 50 cm in length. Another well-known representative of the perch family is pike perch, which loves to catch up with nimble small fish, with such length dimensions it weighs only 1-1.5 kg.

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The average size of a perch is 15-20 cm with a weight of 200-300 g. Large individuals are 30 cm or more in length. An outwardly similar sea bass, in the description of which representatives over 20 kg and more than a meter are mentioned, cannot influence the indicated statistics, since it belongs to the Scorpaenidae family, not perches.

To learn more:

Halibut: types of fish, differences and lifestyle features

Color and fins

The color of the body, covered with small and dense comb-like (ctenoid) scales, depends on the environment and habitat and the variety of perches. The dorsal fins have a different color and structure. The first, with 12-16 hard spiny rays, is painted in a grayish-matte shade and complemented by a black spot characteristic of the species. The second has a camouflage greenish-yellow color and 12-17 non-hard rays. The caudal, anal and pelvic fins are framed by a reddish border, which is another distinguishing feature of the predator’s exterior.

Perch varieties

The systematization of fish that have the word “perch” in their name looks interesting, but they are not always:

  • river, or ordinary (generally accepted standard), – greenish-yellow with 5-9 black vertical stripes;
  • lake perch – depending on the type of bottom and the amount of vegetation, it can have a color from light green to black-green;
  • yellow – differs in smaller sizes, golden framing of fins and a yellowish belly;
  • perch firebrand (smut, grass, Amur goby) is a small predator of the firebrand family (Odontobutidae), which is not a perch fish and has its own common name – rotan;
  • sun perch (common dory, king) – belongs to the family of eared perches (Centrarchidae), is distinguished by a bright color in golden-blue tones, densely spaced dorsal fins and a rounded body. This subspecies was introduced to Europe from North America;
  • Balkhash perch is a relic endemic of the Balkhash-Alakol lakes. It differs from the river counterpart in the absence of vertical stripes, silver color, elongated body and more modest dimensions. Grows up to 1.5 kg.

In the deep pits of the Kuban and Don rivers, one can meet the trout perch (bass) brought from North America with an elongated olive-green body and scattered dark spots.

Perch spawning

The signal for the start of reproduction is the melting of ice and warming up the water to a temperature of + 7-8 degrees. Since spring warming comes unevenly, the spawning time of perch in the middle lane begins earlier than in the northern regions. Readiness for breeding occurs in perch at 3-4 years, and males mature faster than females.

The places where the perch breeds can be recognized by the ribbons of gelatinous substance laid out on the surface of the water. This is how females spawn.

Stages of perch development

From the moment the eggs are laid, the life cycle of the fish begins. After 10-14 days, a fry hatches from the eggs, the length of which is only 5 mm. Larvae that have reached a length of 1.5-2 cm are considered fry. After 2-3 months, the fry develop dark stripes characteristic of perches on the sides.


The marine species of perch belongs to the viviparous types of fish. But it has no common features with fish, the genera of which give birth to a small offspring of fry. Perch of the seas are very productive in this. The female is capable of casting up to 2-2.5 million larvae in one birth.

Adult individuals choose a permanent habitat at sea depth, its fry until they form into a full-fledged fish stay near the surface of the water. Part due to which it can die from other predators.

Spawning, depending on the location of salt water, takes place at different periods. The inhabitants of the Black Sea waters spawn from the first spring months to the autumn rains. If we take the seas of Europe or America, perch spawn there only once a year. As a rule, falls on the spring month – April-May.

Where does it live

The habitat of fish is flat rivers, lakes, ponds, reservoirs. Perch can also be found in mountain lakes, the height of which does not exceed 1000 m above sea level. Some species are able to live in desalinated sea bays.

When choosing places for perch fishing, you should pay attention to backwaters overgrown with vegetation, areas with sharp changes in depth. The predator usually hides in algae, reeds, branches of fallen trees, under bridges and piers, in other natural or artificial shelters. He does not like cold water and fast currents.

Perch is considered a schooling fish. After hatching from eggs, fry stray into schools of 100 or more individuals. Flocks of mature young animals consist of 10-15 males and females. A slowly growing predator is forced to lead a flocking lifestyle in order to increase the efficiency of hunting. Adult large perches hunt alone.

What does perch eat

The predator is rightly considered omnivorous and voracious. The diet of fry and young usually includes zooplankton, mollusks, crustaceans, worms, and insects. The grown perch eats caviar and small specimens of carp fish: crucian carp, minnow, roach, rudd, bleak. One of the biological features of perch is a slow weight gain. Unlike other inhabitants of water bodies, in order to gain 1 kg of weight, he has to eat 4-5 times more food, and with a low caloric content of food – 6-7 times more. That is why the perch leads a fairly active lifestyle, constantly looking for food.


It is so omnivorous and voracious that the full answer to the question of what perch eats looks like this – everything that fits in a wide toothy mouth. The river feeds on zooplankton, benthic organisms, small fish, caviar of other fish, crustaceans, larvae, worms, insects, etc. It is not uncommon for perch to consider relatives, frogs and even algae as food.

The basis of the predator’s fish diet is left by representatives of the carp family (Cyprinidae):

  • gudgeon, roach, crucian carp;
  • minnow, bream, bleak;
  • rudd, verkhovka, vobla:
  • podust, chehon, chebak.

In practice, there is such a situation that any fish 2-12 cm long that lives next to a perch enters the zone of its hunting interests, including the nearest single-family species – pike perch, ruff, chop.

To learn more:

How to catch perch on live bait: equipment and equipment

Features of fishing

The perch has one characteristic feature: because of its voracity, it is constantly active, less cautious and not afraid of noise. Predator quite often becomes a trophy for both experienced and novice fishermen. This is one of the few freshwater species, the catch of which does not stop almost the whole year. The only unfavorable moment for fishing is the period when the fish spawn. During breeding perch does not pay attention to even the most attractive bait.

Zhor in perch is observed before spawning, after its completion and from mid-autumn until the first noticeable frosts. On hot days, active biting can be expected in the early morning or in the evening. You can also count on a good catch in winter: immediately after the appearance of the first ice and at the end of winter before the ice cover disappears.

Traditional tackle for catching river perch is spinning, feeder, bottom and float fishing rods. Live bait is used as bait: worm, bloodworm, mormysh, maggot, caddis larva.

Medium-sized individuals live in coastal zones. The presence of schools of fry and young herbivorous fish in shallow water significantly increases the chances of catching a predator. Since young perches hunt in flocks, you should not change the place after the first successful trophy.

To catch larger specimens, it is worth examining the bottom in the deepest places of the reservoir, as well as areas with depth differences, pits, whirlpools.

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Perch have thin lips, so if a fish doesn’t take the bait deep enough, it can go off the hook if you play too aggressively.

Perch: description

A characteristic feature of this species of fish is the structure and shape of the dorsal fin. It consists of two parts. The front is more prickly, while the back is usually soft. In some species of fish, this fin is integral. The anal fin contains several (up to 3) hard spines, and the caudal fin has a specific notch. In almost all representatives of this family, the ventral fins have a pink or bright red hue. The perch’s mouth is large, as are the large teeth, which are arranged in several rows. Some representatives of this class are distinguished by the presence of fangs. This predator has rather small scales, which adheres securely to the skin, and there is a ridge on the rear edges, on which small spikes and teeth are visible. There are numerous small notches on the gill cover.

Perch grows to a size of 3 kg, and its average weight is in the range of 0.4 kg. The weight of a sea bass can be about 14 kilograms. The length of the predator is about 1 meter, or even more, but the average individuals reach a length of no more than 45 cm. Perch is included in the diet of humans, otters, herons and other predatory, larger fish.

perch coloring page

The color of the perch depends on what species it belongs to, so it can be yellow-green or gray-green. Sea bass has slightly different colors, such as pink or red, although there are instances of yellowish or bluish hues. Deep-sea species tend to have large eyes.

perch cooking

The predator has very tasty white meat, which includes amino acids, phosphorus, iodine, potassium and vitamins. 100 g of fillet contains only 82 kcal, so it is quite suitable for preparing dietary dishes. The perch skeleton does not have many small bones, which is another important advantage. In the cuisines of different countries there are many recipes for cooking this fish. Fish soup, aspic, baked perch, stewed in wine and smoked are considered especially tasty.

Unlike many other fish, perch tolerates freezing well, and retains its flavor even after several months in the freezer.

How to clean perch from scales

The main difficulty in the culinary processing of fish is the removal of scales. To remove small, hard and tightly adjacent scales from the skin, it will take a lot of effort.

Little tricks will help to significantly simplify the process:

  • Before cleaning, the fish is washed and doused with boiling water, after which the scales are easily separated from the skin.
  • If you need to remove the scales along with the skin to get a fish fillet, the carcasses are covered with salt and left for a day. After salting, the skin peels off and peels off.

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