FOUND IN B.C.? Yes. In the CSRD, there are records of yellow perch in the following waterbodies: Pinaus and Little Pinaus lakes, Square Lake, Upper Arrow Lake and Williamson Lake.



Yellow perch are a mid-size (10-25 cm) predatory fish. They generally have a white-coloured belly, a green-ish back and yellow-green sides. They will have up to 7 vertical, dark bands on their sides. They have two dorsal (back) fins – the fin closest to the head has spines, the fin closest to the tail is smooth. Their pelvic fins are yellow to red in colour. Yellow perch are more oval-shaped and laterally compressed when compared to similar-looking walleye (another invasive fish in B.C.).


Life Cycle

A female yellow perch can lay up to 15,000 eggs per season, after she matures at 2-4 years. They are laid in long, gelatinous strands that adhere to plants, rocks and other underwater debris. Fertilized eggs take between 8-10 days to hatch. These fish can live up to 13 years old.



Yellow perch are generally a cool, freshwater fish but have been found to be able to tolerate brackish conditions and warmer temperatures. They are predatory fish and feed on a range of insects, small crustaceans and small fish. Yellow perch are schooling fish and can be found in groups up to 200 large.


Introduction and Spread

Yellow perch are native in Canada, east of the Continental Divide from NWT and Alberta to Nova Scotia. They were intentionally introduced to B.C. as stock sport fish, but also as releases from private ponds and aquariums. Yellow perch are found across southern B.C., including the watersheds of the Fraser, the Pend d’Oreille, Kootenay and Okanagan regions and on Vancouver Island. In the CSRD, there are records of yellow perch in the following waterbodies: Pinaus and Little Pinaus lakes, Square Lake, Upper Arrow Lake and Williamson Lake. Populations of yellow perch have been eradicated from select lakes in the CSRD: Skimikin Lake, Nellies Lake, Gardom Lake, Larch Lake and Larch Pond.



Yellow perch have the potential to have large impacts on lake ecosystems. Due to their predatory behaviour, yellow perch can compete with salmonid species (trout and salmon) for prey. They can even prey directly upon trout and salmon fry. There is evidence that shows that yellow perch negatively impact salmon growth and survival in small lakes in B.C. Yellow perch are capable of reproducing quickly which can lead them to outnumber native fish populations.


What Can We Do?

DON’T LET IT LOOSE: As humans, we are the number one vector of spread for invasive species but we can also play an important role in stopping new invasions and infestations. Making slight changes to some of our behaviours is key to preventing and managing the spread of invasive species. The most important step you can take to prevent the spread of goldfish is to be a responsible pet owner. This means that we understand and accept the responsibility of owning a pet and Don’t Let It Loose to the wild when the pet is longer wanted or can no longer be cared for. Before purchasing or adopting any pet, consider how you will take care of it for its entire lifespan. If you are longer able to care for a pet, contact rescue centres or other resources in your community to attempt to re-home your pet. Euthanization of the pet will be the last resort approach to dealing with a pet that can no longer be cared for, which is why it is really important to understand the long-term needs of the pet before ownership. This practice also applies to plants that we may have in our terrariums, aquariums or ponds as well.

REPORT: Report all sightings of invasive species online or on the ReportInvasives mobile app.

REMEMBER: It is illegal to transfer live fish between waterbodies. The use of live finfish as bait is prohibited in B.C.




Literature and Resources


Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society