Perch are fish of which there are many species. They are found throughout the northern hemisphere of the world. They usually live in lakes and rivers. They rarely swim out to sea. And even then they only stay in brackish water, i.e. where it is only slightly salty.
When people talk about perch in colloquial language, they usually mean perch, which is very common here. In Switzerland, it is called “Egli” and on Lake Constance “Kretzer”. The zander and ruff are also common species of perch. In the Danube, in Austria, one occasionally encounters the nerd. It is mainly found in sections where the river flows quickly. But he is considered endangered.
All perch have powerful scales and two dorsal fins, the front one being spiny and the back one a bit softer. Perch can also be recognized by the dark tiger stripes. The largest species of perch is the zander. In Europe, it grows up to 130 centimeters long. That’s the size of a little kid. Most perch, however, do not grow longer than about 30 centimeters. Perch are predatory fish and feed mainly on aquatic insects, worms, crabs, and the eggs of other fish. The zander eats mainly other fish. If there is nothing else to eat, sometimes larger perch do it too.
Perch, especially zander and perch, are popular fish for us to eat. The perch is valued for its lean and boneless meat. Zander is often caught by sports fishermen. Because they are shy and difficult to outwit, catching them is a challenge. Sport fishermen usually use small fish such as roach or rudd as bait.