White Perch (Morone americana)

White perch

Credit: John Lyons, Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources
Where did white perch come from?
  • White perch came from the Atlantic coastal region in brackish water.
  • They first appeared in the Great Lakes in the 1940s through the Erie and Welland canals.
Why is it a problem?
  • White perch are predacious and opportunistic feeders, often feeding on the eggs of walleye.
  • They compete for zooplankton which may lead to algal blooms.
  • White perch have hybridized with native white bass in western Lake Erie.
How do white perch spread?
  • Unauthorized stocking has been a source of spread to inland waters in other states.
  • White perch have been transported through boating.
How do we control white perch?
  • Report suspected findings in inland waters.
  • Education and inspection efforts can limit the spread of invasive species.
  • Clean ballast tanks to remove sediment regularly.
  • Remove fouling organisms from hull, piping, and tanks on a regular basis and dispose of any removed substances in accordance with local, state and federal regulations.

For more photos and information about white perch, see the Wisconsin Fish Identification tool.