Yellow Perch (Perca flavscens) belong to the largest order of fish: the Perciformes which include 9,200 species, 80% of which are marine, however, the family Percidae they belong to consists entirely of freshwater species of the temperate and subarctic climates of the northern hemisphere. Walleye and Sauger are also members of the same family.
Neither adult cares for the eggs or larvae. The eggs hatch after eleven to 27 days incubation depending upon the temperature. The larvae feed on small zooplankton and then start including insect larvae, (particularly mayflies) and eventually small fish including other Yellow Perch.
Since they travel in schools, sometimes they end up being caught in bunches. They feed not only the anglers but are important forage fish for Walleye, Sauger and Smallmouth Bass. While the Yellow Perch are not one of the more commonly caught fish in Bighorn Lake, anglers should not be surprised to find one on the end of their line.
Did You Know?
The first 13 miles of the Bighorn River below Yellowtail Dam is the most fished area in the state of Montana, often attracting over 100,000 anglers each year. Surveys show that 75 percent of summer anglers are from out of state. More...