Perch Colouration

Zerkalo

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What gives Perch their colour? I have had some decent Perch over the last year, mostly from Furnace Mill but also get the occasional big Perch from a weirpool I fish. No pics unfortunately but I had a Perch last year from the weirpool about 1lb that was jet black in colour, proper mean looking thing, and never seen a Perch so dark before.

Am wondering what makes them light or dark? Purely genetics?
 

brian carragher

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Not just perch but all species are affected by the clarity of the water they live in, tench as an example vary from deep dark green to almost olive in colour
 

Zerkalo

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Cheers. Am I right clear water means a darker Perch then?

I'm going to stick my neck out and say this dark coloured Perch I caught from the small stream weir was a proper Wild one that's probably a few generations down of Dark Coloured Perch?
 

tipitinmick

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Good question Zerkalo. Will be interesting to see what answers you get. I've caught some perch Id be proud to see on the front cover of AT and some ugly looking dark buggers you'd want to hit with a shovel. Healthy but dam right ugly. Only my opinion here but, the prettiest ones I've ever caught have been from our gin clear Yorkshire rivers in summer.
 

Zerkalo

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Something special about a nice river Perch for sure! My local canal (Staffs/Worcs) is full of perch too, when I started fishing it I was expecting Gudgeon and got 8lb bags of small Perch on the whip! Biggest Perch I have seen caught came out of the Severn Basin at Stourport in a Junior Match and weight 3lb12oz. I think with Perch dark colours can be quite endearing, not pretty, but makes them look very mean. With Tench I think I prefer the lighter colours, looks prettier, but Carp can go some nice dark colours in Winter too!
 

tipitinmick

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Something special about a nice river Perch for sure! My local canal (Staffs/Worcs) is full of perch too, when I started fishing it I was expecting Gudgeon and got 8lb bags of small Perch on the whip! Biggest Perch I have seen caught came out of the Severn Basin at Stourport in a Junior Match and weight 3lb12oz. I think with Perch dark colours can be quite endearing, not pretty, but makes them look very mean. With Tench I think I prefer the lighter colours, looks prettier, but Carp can go some nice dark colours in Winter too!
Mean .... 😆.... Reminded me of a perch I caught in the Leeds - Liverpool canal at Thackley some 40 years ago. Black as the ace of spades. Showed it to my mate and he got off his seat box and took three paces back saying .... " What the hells that ? " 😆😆
 

62tucker

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Is it not camouflage. Seen a few in a tank in garden centre once and you could look right through it and the perch were very light in colour. But caught a few in a park lake years ago and they were proper dark stripes
 

Silverfisher

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In my experience most species have more definitive/vivid colouration in clear water whilst those in murky water can be more washed out. I’m quite lucky in that I catch quite a lot of decent perch out my local Stillwater and the Thames and the clearer water of the latter produces the nicer looking fish.
 

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Zerkalo

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Nice fish. I nearly always photograph decent fish when I go out, partly for reports on the forum and partly because my dad's always texting me and likes to know/see what I've caught. Dunno why I didn't photograph this Perch.
 

jpwebster

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I'v noticed this colour difference too and also suspected it was due to clarity of water/or lack of. The barbel in my avatar is from a very murky river, one a similar size from the wharfe would be nicely bronzed on the flanks already. The Perch from this river are still bright green with dark back and stripes though so maybe they spawn/grow up in clearer water and the epigenetic expression is locked in early on?

One thing I've not been able to work out is why some perch have barely any stripes at all whilst still being varied colours, any one else noticed this?
 

Zerkalo

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Yeah I've noticed a good variation on Perch! Most of the variation I see comes from Natural Venues like Rivers and Canals where the water is probably not as coloured all year round as commercials.

One thing I've noticed about the Bream at Furnace Mill, I am catching presumably mature Bream to 5lb+ and they still have a silver colour to them. On the big deep Bream lake I fish, Patshull Park, the Bream are nice dark mature fish.

Few pics of Perch I've caught over the last year mostly from Furnace Mill and one from the a weirpool on the Worcs Stour. All fairly uniform colours compared to the one dark fish I don't have a pic of.

IMG_4040.JPG IMG_4307.JPG 2019-12-28 12.23.10.jpg 2020-01-24 14.29.26.jpg 2020-01-24 14.58.36.jpg 2020-02-01 12.27.47.jpg 2020-02-01 13.12.04.jpg
 

mike fox

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Perch and other species adapt to their surroundings to avoid predation from birds and for camouflage for their own predatory instincts. Also age has an effect on the colouration. Big, old Bream can be as black as soot in some clear water venues.
 

Zerkalo

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See this for a Furnace Mill Bream. Probably pushing 4lb and it still looks like a small Skimmer in terms of colour.

IMG_4305.JPG
 

Silverfisher

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Probably down to water clarity again, I've not caught that many proper bream but the river ones do tend to be darker than those in stillwaters. Similarly river roach, dace and chub tend to have darker backs and more defined scales than their Stillwater counterparts around here, also the roach and perch fins are more red in the rivers compared to a more orangey shade in the still waters.

At sea fish can really vary depending on clarity and habitat. Wrasse are the obvious examples but the likes of bream and pollock can really vary as well.
 

Zerkalo

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Apparently the Bream run to 14lb at Furnace and it would not surprise me to see the same light silvery colours even on the biggest fish. It is crying out for a chopped worm approach as most of the fish I've caught there have either been fluked on maggot or a nice run of Bream I had there in the summer on corn.
 

Suilven

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One of my favourite things about perch is the coloration or variety of it you can find.

From a clean water Scottish reservoir:


Forth and Clyde canal:


Canal in France:


My favourite so far, purple perch from a loch in the middle of a forest in Galloway. Every perch caught here was blue or purple

 
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