The Perch is a fish that is part of the genus Perca and
family Percidae. It is related to the sunfishes and the sea
bass. There are three species of freshwater fish in
different geographical areas that are called Perch. Along
with goldfish, the Perch are perciformes. Perciforme is from
the Greek meaning "perch-shaped".
The three Perch species are the European Perch, the Balkhash
Perch and the Yellow Perch. Outside of their Perca genus are
three other different fish that are also called Perch: the
Golden Perch, the Silver Perch and the Spangled Perch. The
Native American darters, which are found east of the Rocky
Mountains, are a subfamily containing many species, most of
them brilliantly colored.
The European Perch is found in Europe and Asia and has been
introduced to Australia and New Zealand. The Balkhash Perch
is found in China, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The Yellow
Perch is found in Canada and the United States.
Perch are characterized by their rough ctenoid scales and a
lateral line down the side that is sensitive to vibrations
in the water. Many species of Perch have vertical dark
stripes down the length of their bodies and red markings on
Perches feed on insects, crayfish, and small fish and grows
to an average length of one foot (thirty centimeters) and
weigh on average one pound (one half a kilogram).
Perch are commonly cooked by frying and are considered to be
one of the tastiest pan fish. Commercially the Perch is
always in demand. In the United States restaurants use the
term "Ocean Perch" for a Rosefish and "Rock Perch" for Bass.
If what the restaurant is serving is truly Perch it will
often be called "Yellow Lake Perch" or "Lake Perch".
"White Perch" isn't really a Perch, rather a completely
different species of fish that comes from New England. They
are not Perciformes.
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