Be on the Watch for Yellow Perch

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Yellow perch (Perca flavescens) is a freshwater fish species native to Canada, naturally found in waterways from Alberta, north to the Northwest Territories and east to Nova Scotia. Yellow perch are invasive in BC but they have ended up here by accidental or intentional movement: through boats, people intentionally moving them, releasing them into waterways from aquariums and fish markets, and escaping from fishing lines as live bait. Once introduced into a new area, yellow perch can reproduce very quickly, with females laying up to 15,000 eggs at once. They spread rapidly as individuals swim to new waterways in search of food.

The Problem

Yellow perch are harmful when in BC’s rivers and lakes. They are threatening native species as they feed more aggressively on tadpoles and other fish in their natural home waters. They also carry parasites that harm native fish species, reducing the overall health and biodiversity of the waterways.

How to Help

Here’s how you can stop the introduction and spread of this invasive species – and help protect the natural life found in the Thompson-Nicola’s lakes and rivers:

  • Do not release yellow perch into BC waterways;
  • Do not use Yellow perch as live bait;
  • Do not release aquarium species into waterways;
  • Learn to identify yellow perch; and
  • Tell others about yellow perch to raise awareness.

Get more detailed information in this Invasive Species Alert from the Province of British Columbia.

Photo by M. Herborg