Taste and Nutrition
Yellow perch, also known as lake perch, has a mild, sweet flavor with firm, flaky white flesh. It has slightly more omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) than Atlantic cod.
Yellow perch size can vary greatly between bodies of water, but adults are usually between 4-10 inches in length and weigh an average of 5 ounces. Though usually served as fillets or in sandwiches, the small fillet size allows for many preparations.
Several studies have found that consumers cannot distinguish any difference in taste between wild yellow perch and farm-raised yellow perch.
How They Are Harvested
Currently Wisconsin commercial fishermen are only allowed to fish for yellow perch in the waters of Green Bay, and most of this catch is harvested using gill nets and sold to local restaurants and fish markets. While a few tribal fisheries exist around the Great lakes, most wild Great Lakes yellow perch sold in grocery stores is caught in Lake Erie by Canadian fishermen using gill nets.
How They Are Raised
In Wisconsin, yellow perch are raised either in outdoor ponds or in indoor recirculating systems. Some farms are beginning to use yellow perch in aquaponic systems as well.
There is no consumption advisory for Wisconsin farm-raised yellow perch. State health agencies have found that it is safe to eat Green Bay yellow perch once a week and Lake Erie yellow perch twice a week. If you are unsure of the origin of your purchased fish, follow the most restrictive recommendation (once a week).
Visit these links to find out more information about fish advisories in Wisconsin and the Great Lakes:
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources: Eating Your Catch
2013 Ohio Sport Fish Health and Consumption Advisory