Perch Family

Walleye [Genus Perca species; also Latidae (Lates perches)]

"Perch" is the prototype for Order Perciformes (Perch-like fishes) to which most of our familiar fish belong. Perch are properly fresh water fish of which there are two main members, Walleye and Yellow Perch. There are a number of ocean fish called "perch" but none are actually perch. I am, though, including Lates perches (Latidae) here for convenience.

More on Varieties of Fish (very large page)


Climbing Perch   -   not a perch, see Climbing Perch.

Barramundi   -   [Giant Perch, Asian seabass, White seabass; Bekti (India); Bhetki (Bengali); Pla kapong (Thai); Siakap (Malay); Lates calcarifer]
Barramundi, whole

This Indo-Pacific fish is very important in Southeast Asia and northern Australia, and also much appreciated in West Bengal and Bangladesh. Both wild and farmed, it is a sought after fish that fetches a premium price. It can grow to 78 inches and 132 pounds, but the photo specimen was 17 inches long, weighed 2 pounds 14 ounces. It probably came from from a fish farm in Thailand, but a growing number are farmed in North America. They are also farmed in Indonesia, Malaysia and Australia, with smaller operations in the UK and Holland.   Details and Cooking.

Walleye   -   [Yellow Pike, American Zander, Sander vitreus   |   similar Sandre Canadien, Sand pickerel; Sander canadensis]
Walleye, whole

Pronounced "Wally", this largest member of the true perch family can grow to 42 inches and 25 pounds but the photo specimen was 18-1/2 inches and 2-3/4 pounds. This freshwater fish is found in the great lakes and in most major rivers in the Northeast of the U.S. and Canada. It is found in the Mississippi river basin as far south as Arkansas. Commercial aquaculture is in the development stages but large numbers are hatched for restocking lakes and rivers. Red List status "Not Evaluated".   Details and Cooking.

Zander   -   [Pike Perch, Jack Salmon; Sander lucioperca   |   similar Volga Pikeperch; Sander volgensis]
Zander, whole

This elongated perch is native to Eastern an Central Europe, Sweden, Finland and Western Asia, but has been introduced into England and other countries as a popular angling fish. It can grow to 39 inches and 44 pounds, but is commonly around 20 inches and is considered a very good eating fish. Red List status is "Least Concern". Restaurants in Minnesota have been busted for serving imported Zander as Walleye (from which it is indistinguishable on the plate), so see Walleye for Details and Cooking.   Photo by Elnuko contributed to the public domain.

Mandarin Fish   -   [Chinese Perch, Siniperca chuatsi]
Mandarin Fish, whole

A fresh water fish native to China and the Amur River basin, Mandarin Fish is an aggressive predator feeding entirely on the young of other fish species. This fish is called for in many Chinese fish recipes but is very rare here in Southern California - and rather expensive when it is available. Now farmed as well as caught wild, this fish can grow to nearly 28 inches and 17 pounds, but the photo specimen was 11-1/4 inches long and weighed 15-5/8 ounces. Red list status: Not Evaluated.   Details and Cooking.

Japanese Seabass / Seaperch   -   [Japanese Seaperch; Seigo (Japan - under 10 inches), Fukko, Suzuki (Japan - above 20 inches); Ca Vuroc Nhat (Vietnam); Lu yu, Hua lu (China); Nong-o (Korea); Lateolabrax japonicus]
Seaperch, whole

Actually a Perch, not a Bass, this fish is found from the north coast of Vietnam north around Korea to the southeast tip of Russia. Also around Japan and along the west coast of Taiwan, but not in the Philippines. Japanese Seabass can grow to 40 inches and 19 pounds, but the photo specimen was 16-3/4 inches and weighed 2 pounds 1-1/4 ounces. This fish is both caught wild and farmed. IUCN Red List NE (Not Evaluated), it is not considered endangered.   Details and Cooking.

Ocean Perch is not a perch   -   see Rockfish.

White Perch is not a perch   -   see Bass - White Perch.

Yellow Perch   -   [Perca flavescens]
Two Perch swimming

This North American native lives mainly in northern lakes and rivers, but a few are found as far south as South Carolina. It can grow to nearly 20 inches and 4-1/4 pounds, but is commonly quite a bit smaller. Red List status "Not Evaluated".   Photo by U.S. Department of Agriculture = public domain.

Egli / European Perch   -   [Perca flaviatilis]
European Perch

Very similar to the North American Yellow Perch, but not yet proven to be the same species. This perch infests the ponds, rivers and streams of Europe and most of Siberia, except Spain and Italy which are too warm for it. In Europe they grow to about 10 pounds, but they have been introduced to New Zealand and Australia where the record is 23 pounds. They are commonly marketed at around 10 inches. Considered an excellent eating fish, caught wild and farmed. IUCN rated LC (Least Concern).   Photo by Dgp.martin distributed under license Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported..

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