Friday, May 31, 2013

Trout-Perch

TROUT-PERCH (Percopsis omiscomaycus)

You won't be seeing any trout-perch this summer in New Jersey waters. They are another species that once existed in our state but have completely disappeared (extirpated) from the state.

The species still survives in Pennsylvania and New York but it has been extirpated from other watersheds in the Mid-Atlantic region which was historically the southern portion of their range.

The trout-perch is a small fish which can grow to about 7 inches in length, but they are not a game fish or important to human fishery. They are an important source of food for many predator fish such as walleye, northern pike, and lake trout.

Since they are not a species that would have been overfished, why would they have disappeared from Jersey waters?

It turns out that trout-perch are quite sensitive to pollution, sedimentation and water temperature. Although fishery research on threatened species did not really exist during the early 1900s when they disappeared, it likely that poor environmental conditions in all three areas probably led to their extirpation.


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