White Perch (Morone americana)

White Perch

White Perch

ALERT! It is illegal to possess live white perch (KAR 115-18-10)

Where did white perch come from?

  • White perch are native to the Atlantic coast region of North America.
  • It is uncertain how white perch were introduced into Kansas.

Where have white perch been found in Kansas?

  • Click here to view the list of Kansas waters with white perch and other aquatic nuisance species.

What do white perch look like?

  • Variable coloring-generally silvery green on sides.
  • No lines or stripes.
  • Usually less than 10 inches long.
  • White perch closely resemble the native white bass.

Differences between white perch and white bass:

White perch:

  • Spiny and soft dorsal fin connected. Both fins will pop-up when the spiny dorsal is erected.
  • 3 hard anal fin spines-1 short, 2 long.

White Bass:

  • Spiny and soft dorsal fin not connected.
  • 3 hard anal fin spines-1 short, 1 medium, 1 long.

Why are white perch a problem?

  • White perch have been associated with declines in both walleye and white bass populations.
  • White perch feed heavily on baitfish utilized by other species.
  • Out-compete native fishes for food and space.
  • Hybridize with white bass.

How do white perch spread?

  • White perch are easily spread by illegal release.
  • It is illegal to release fish taken from one body of water into another.

How do we control white perch?

  • Angler harvest can be an effective way to control white perch. If you catch a white perch, do not release them back into the water. Eat or dispose of them properly.
  • Do not transport or release white perch from one body of water into another.

What do I do if I find white perch?

  • If you find white perch, do not release the fish back into the water. If you catch a white perch at a location other than where they have been previously captured (list above), freeze it in a sealed plastic bag, note the date and location, and call the Emporia Research Office at (620) 342-0658 or email the Aquatic Nuisance Species Coordinator.

Images and Recent news

White Perch Links:

Wisconsin Sea Grant White Perch Page

Fact Sheet

Fish Base Fact Sheet