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.
Silver perch eat small crustaceans and bristle worms.
Reproduction and Life Cycle
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.
Did You Know?
- Silver perch are also known as sand perch.
- The silver perch is a member of the drum family, which includes spot, weakfish, red drum, black drum and spotted seatrout. All drums are able to make a loud drumming or croaking sound by vibrating their swim bladder using special muscles. Atlantic croakers are the loudest of the drums.
- They can be confused with white perch. You can distinguish a silver perch by its yellowish fins and slightly pointed, rather than forked, tail.
Sources and Additional Information
- Fishes of Chesapeake Bay by Edward O. Murdy, Ray S. Birdsong and John A. Musick
- Life in the Chesapeake Bay by Alice Jane Lippson and Robert L. Lippson
- Silver Perch - Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission