Perch, Yellow – Chesapeake Bay
Yellow Perch is primarily a freshwater species of fish. They are found throughout much of the east and mid-west regions of the US and Canada, but also have adapted to the estuarine waters of the Chesapeake Bay, which is the focus of this report. They are fast growing and reach sexual maturity within two to three years.
The abundance of Yellow Perch in the entire Chesapeake Bay is unknown. However, in the upper Chesapeake Bay, where most commercial fishing for Yellow Perch currently occurs, the population has been assessed and fishing levels are considered to be sustainable.
In the Chesapeake Bay, Yellow Perch are typically caught using fyke nets, a fishing method that causes little damage to bottom habitats. Other gears used to catch Yellow Perch include fish pots, gillnets, pound nets, and hook and line. Information on bycatch in Yellow Perch fisheries is lacking.
This fish may have moderately high levels of mercury and PCBs that could pose a health risk to adults and children. More info here about mercury and PCBs in Yellow Perch. Check out our mercury in seafood section.