European Perch The European perch is a predatory species of freshwater fish native to Europe and northern Asia. The species is a popular quarry for anglers and has been widely introduced beyond its native area, into Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. They have caused substantial damage to native fish populations in Australia and have been proclaimed a noxious species in New South Wales.
The European perch is a relatively large fish. It has a long, thick cylindrical body with scales, and its coloring is extremely variable, from almost white to dark brown or greenish with red spots on the flanks. Mature male specimens develop a prominent redbreast. Females are usually drabber in coloration. Its dorsal fin is continuous and consists of 10-12 independent, long-based spines followed by one spine and 12 to 17 soft rays. There are no abdominal or adipose fins. The pectoral, pelvic (on the belly), and anal (on the underside) fins all have strong spines; the pelvic and anal fins also have soft rays. The posterior dorsal spines are normally longer than the anterior.
During this time, it is common for anglers to fish for perch with lures such as plastic grubs or small lead or rubber jigs in a variety of colors. Anglers typically use light spinning tackle or fly fishing equipment. A typical outfit might be a rod of 2.1–2.4 m (7-8 ft) in length, with a lightweight spinning reel spooled with a 0.32-0.40 mm diameter line. For hook sizes, size 6/0 or 8/0 Owner Mutu Light Circle hooks are about right for 3-8 cm (1.2-3.1 in) fish, and size 8/0 or 10/0 Owner Mutu Light Mag Circle hooks work well for specimens measuring 10-15 cm (4-6 in).
Linear Fisheries sells fish as small as 2 inches and as large as 20 pounds. According to reports on the United States Fish and Wildlife Service's website, the world record for a perch is 3 pounds 1 ounce. Common sizes are from 10-15 cm (4-6 in), occasionally to 20 cm (8 in).
The fish has a wide distribution across Europe and Asia. In the south, it ranges from northern Spain to China and Lake Baikal, and it is even found in Iceland, where it has been introduced. It can be found in virtually any freshwater body that isn't entirely frozen over during the winter months within this range.
The species is one of only three fish native to Europe to survive in Ireland's rivers, alongside bullhead and brown trout; they have also now been introduced to many other areas.
The species is one of only three fish native to Europe that has been introduced into Ireland's rivers, along with the bullhead and brown trout; they have also been introduced to many other areas worldwide. In addition, a large number of hybrids between this species and the closely related North American white perch have been recorded from many areas.
Global european perch production
European perch are a popular game fish, and their global production is significant. In 2009, the top five countries in terms of total European perch production were Italy (9,738 tonnes), Denmark (4,313 tonnes), the Netherlands (3,406 tonnes), Sweden (2,037 tonnes), and Poland (1,707 tonnes). The total global production of European perch in 2009 was 19,200 tonnes.
European perch are native to Europe, and their natural range extends from the British Isles to the Ural Mountains in Russia. However, they have been introduced to many other parts of the world, including North America, Australia, and New Zealand. In North America, they are found in the Great Lakes region and the northeastern United States. In Australia, they are found in Tasmania and Victoria. In New Zealand, they are found on the North Island.
European perch prefer freshwater lakes and rivers, but can also be found in brackish waters. They typically inhabit depths of up to 30 meters (100 feet). European perch are omnivorous, and their diet includes fish, insects, crustaceans, and mollusks.
European perch are an important commercial fish species. They are typically caught with hook and line, gillnets, or trawls. In 2009, the top five countries in terms of European perch exports were Denmark (5,764 tonnes), the Netherlands (2,880 tonnes), Sweden (2,013 tonnes), Poland (1,707 tonnes), and Lithuania (1,025 tonnes). The total global export value of European perch in 2009 was $21.6 million.
European perch are also popular as a food fish. They are typically baked, grilled, or fried. In 2009, the top five countries in terms of European perch consumption were Italy (5,764 tonnes), Denmark (4,313 tonnes), the Netherlands (2,880 tonnes), Sweden (2,037 tonnes), and Poland (1,707 tonnes).