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White Perch

White perch ( Morone americana ) are found in estuaries and freshwater ecosystems from Nova Scotia to South Carolina. The fish frequent areas with level bottoms of compact silt, mud, sand or clay and show little preference for vegetation, structures or other shelter. Although they are able to live in salinities from zero to full strength seawater, white perch prefer waters of less than 18 percent salinity. Most abundant from the Hudson River to Chesapeake Bay, white perch are abundant year-round residents in all tributaries of the Bay from Havre de Grace, Maryland to Cape Henry, Virginia. From spring through autumn, white perch are present on flats and in channels, retreating to deep channels in the winter.

Life Cycle

White perch are semi-anadromous spawners. They move into waters with low salinity to fresh waters of large rivers in April through June when water temperatures are about 11 to16 degrees C (52 to 61 degrees F).
The young use the shore margins of the spawning area as nursery grounds.
Predacious carnivores, juveniles feed on aquatic insects, small crustaceans and small fishes.
White perch may live as long as 17 years.
The Fishery

White perch are among the most important recreational and commercial fishes in the Chesapeake Bay, especially in Maryland waters, where more than 80 percent of the Bay landings occur. Commercial landings of white perch in the Bay peaked in 1969 at about 2.8 million pounds and have generally declined since then. Commercial landings are made with a variety of gear types, including haul seines, fyke nets, pound nets and gill nets. Catches are greatest during the spring spawning season and also from September through November, when the perch school to feed on migratory clupeids, such as herring.

The recreational fishery for white perch is significant, especially in Maryland, and in recent years recreational catches in the Bay have exceeded commercial catches. The recreational fishery is concentrated in the spring and autumn, when white perch are taken by drifting live bait or by trolling artificial lures near the surface. The Chesapeake Bay sport catch record is a white perch taken in Maryland waters that weighed 2.6 pounds.


To book your trip aboard Light Tackle Charters call Captain Walt at (410) 957-1664 or email him from this site! Remember, your date is not "booked" until a deposit has been recieved.

Light Tackle Charters
2630 Cambrook Drive
Pocomoke City, MD 21851

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You may bring your own fly, spinning, casting or trolling outfits. I recommend different outfits of different size & weights dependent upon the time of year and the species we'll be stalking. Just talk with me (via phone or e-mail) prior to the trip and I'll be happy to make recommendations...