White Perch
  • Side view adult.
  • Side view adult.
  • Side view adult.
  • Top view adult.
  • Bottom view adult.
  • Head-on view adult.
  • Close-up flank.
  • Close-up head.
  • Close-up mouth and snout.
  • Close-up tail.
  • Close-up dorsal fin.
  • Close-up anal fin.
  • Close-up pectoral fin.
  • Close-up pelvic fin.
  • Close-up inside of mouth: Notice the absence of tongue teeth.
  • Notice the sharply arched profile; the body is laterally compressed with the deepest part before the dorsal fin.
  • Close-up flank: Notice the absence of horizontal stripes in adults (may be faint in juveniles), there are 44-52 lateral scales.
  • Close-up dorsal fin: Notice the slightly connected dorsal fins; there are 10-13 dorsal rays.
  • Close-up anal fin: Notice that the 2nd and 3rd spines are of about equal length; there are 8-10 anal rays.
  • Underside of head of a breeder: Notice the bluish chin; otherwise breeders are similar to non-breeders.
  • Side view of a young of year: Juveniles are similar to adults; this specimen lacks even hint of horizontal stripes.
  • Side view of a yearling: Juveniles are similar to adults, but may have faint horizontal stripes as shown here.
DescriptionSimilar Species
Family
Temperate Basses (Moronidae)
Body
Mouth and snout: Terminal and oblique. Small teeth in patches on upper and lower jaws. No barbels. Body patterning, color, and scales: Solid color (sometimes faint lateral stripes in juveniles), dark olive on back, light olive, silver, or white on sides, and white on belly. 44-52 ctenoid lateral line scales. Fins pigmented gray or brown; often with a yellowish cast. Body shape and size: Body deep and laterally compressed. Typically 125-200 mm (5-8 in) TL; maximum reported from Wisconsin about 260 mm (10.5 in), elsewhere about 375 mm (15 in).
Fins
Tail, dorsal and other fins: Slightly forked tail. Two dorsal fins, slightly connected by a membrane, the anterior with 6-10 spines and the posterior with 1 spine and 10-13 rays. Pelvic fins thoracic. No adipose fin. Anal fin with 1 spine and 8-10 rays.
Distinguishing Characteristics
The white perch differs by having 3 anal spines and a light olive, silvery, or whitish body without obvious vertical bars or mottling, and by the conspicuous spine on the upper back part of the opercle and the saw-edged margin of the preopercle. See also similar species information.
Breeding Adults
Similar to nonbreeders, but often have bluish color on chin and lower jaw.
Juveniles
Similar to adults, but may have faint lateral stripes.
Hybrids
None confirmed from Wisconsin, but reported to hybridize with white bass and yellow bass elsewhere (no photos).
Compare Similar Species
Body Pattern
Bass, Striped6-8 distinct black horizontal stripes, usually not offset
Bass, White6-8 distinct black horizontal stripes, usually not offset
Bass, Yellow6-8 distinct black horizontal stripes; often broken and offset above anal fin
Perch, WhiteSolid color; faint stripes may be present in juveniles
Body Profile
Bass, StripedRounded anteriorly and not arched; deepest part of body below spiny dorsal; more elongated and fusiform than others
Bass, WhiteRounded anteriorly and not arched; deepest part of body below spiny dorsal; laterally compressed
Bass, YellowSomewhat arched anteriorly; deepest part of body below spiny dorsal fin; laterally compressed
Perch, WhiteSharply arched anteriorly; deepest part of body before spiny dorsal fin; laterally compressed
Dorsal Fins
Bass, StripedSlightly separate or touching but not connected by membrane
Bass, WhiteSlightly separate or touching but not connected by membrane
Bass, YellowSlightly connected
Perch, WhiteSlightly connected
Dorsal Rays (2nd dorsal fin)
Bass, Striped10-14 (usually 11-12)
Bass, White12-15 (usually 13-14)
Bass, Yellow11-13 (usually 11-12)
Perch, White10-13 (usually 11-12)
Anal Spines
Bass, Striped2nd clearly shorter than 3rd
Bass, White2nd clearly shorter than 3rd
Bass, Yellow2nd and 3rd about equal in length
Perch, White2nd and 3rd about equal in length
Anal Rays
Bass, Striped9-12 (usually 10-11)
Bass, White11-13 (usually 12)
Bass, Yellow8-10 (usually 9)
Perch, White 8-10 (usually 9-10)
Lateral-line Scales
Bass, Striped53-65 (usually 57-63)
Bass, White52-60 (usually 54-58)
Bass, Yellow49-55 (usually 49-51)
Perch, White44-52 (usually 46-49)
Tongue Teeth
Bass, StripedTwo elongated patches on rear of tongue, distinctly separate
Bass, WhiteSingle oval patch on rear of tongue, occasionally with medial division
Bass, YellowNone
Perch, WhiteNone
Similarity Index
Bass, StripedVery similar
Bass, WhiteVery similar
Bass, YellowVery similar
Perch, WhiteN/A
Comments
Bass, StripedNot established in WI; speciment reported but unconfirmed in the Fox River, Kenosha County, presumably a stray from stocked populations in Illinois
Perch, WhiteModerately similar to yellow perch, ruffe, sunfish family; differs from yellow perch and ruffe by having 3 (vs 2) anal spines and light olive, silvery, or whitish body without obvious vertical bars or mottling, and from sunfishes by the conspicuous spine
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