Yellow perch are a good target for young and novice anglers because they're plentiful and bite readily. They also are prized for their taste and fish-fry potential.
Features: Yellow perch are golden, with six to nine dark vertical bars. They have two well-separated dorsal fins; the second fin has two or three spines. Lower fins are yellowish-orange and, unlike walleye, yellow perch do not have canine teeth. Maximum size in Oregon exceeds 3 pounds and 18-inches long. They are prolific spawners, often resulting in an overpopulation of stunted fish.
Habitat: Yellow perch prefer lakes, reservoirs and slower moving streams that have cool, clean water and ample vegetation. Perch bite readily and are therefore popular with young and novice anglers.
Technique: In the spring and fall, find yellow perch near shore around weed beds, docks, submerged rock piles, sunken logs and stumps. As a “cool-water” species, perch move inshore to spawn earlier in the spring than the true "warmwater” species. Spawning usually occurs over vegetation, at 45°F to 55°F. In summer, as the water warms, perch seek deeper, cooler water and are more difficult to catch. With cooler fall water temperatures, they again move into shallower water to feed and are more accessible. In winter, look for yellow perch near the bottom in deeper water where they continue to feed actively and may be caught from a boat, or in eastern Oregon, through the ice. Fish for perch throughout the year with or without a bobber using a whole or piece of nightcrawler on a size 10- or 12-bait hook. Suspend the bait 12- to 18-inches off the bottom.