The silver perch is a small drum with a silvery body and yellowish fins. It lives in the Chesapeake Bay year-round, most commonly found in shallow waters from spring to autumn.
The silver perch has a greenish or bluish-gray body with a faint, dusky stripe that runs along the length of the body to the tail. It has a silvery belly and high, rounded back. There is a deep notch in its dorsal fin, and the fins on the lower part of its body are yellowish. Silver perch grow to 9 inches in length.
These fish are found in shallow waters, particularly in the lower part of the Bay, but they move to deeper, warmer waters in winter.
The silver perch lives year-round in the middle and lower Chesapeake Bay, and is rare north of Baltimore. It is usually caught between spring and autumn, with a peak in September-October.
Silver perch eat small crustaceans and bristle worms.
Spawning occurs in spring along the shallows of the Bay’s eastern shore. Larvae and small juveniles migrate upstream into fresher waters. As they grow, they move back down to the Bay, gathering in higher-salinity shallows near bay grass beds.