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Fragile Legacy


Endangered, Threatened & Rare Animals of South Dakota


Trout-perch (Percopsis omiscomaycus)


JPG--species photo species distribution map
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Status: State Threatened

Description: The trout perch is a small (3-4 inches, 75-100 mm), thick-bodied fish with a large head. It is silvery to almost transparent in color. It has five distinct rows of black spots on its back and sides.

Habitat and Habits: The trout-perch occurs in lakes and turbid streams. A nocturnal species, it feeds over shallow bottoms on insect larvae and amphipods. This fish spends daylight hours in deeper water or in piles of sticks, leaves or other debris. Where abundant, the trout-perch is an important prey species (food) for northem pike, yellow perch and walleye. It is thought to spawn from spring to late summer in shallow, rocky streams or in rocky areas of lakes.

Distribution:This species is widely distributed in lakes and streams throughout central and northern North America. The trout-perch has been reported from the Big Sioux and Minnesota River drainages in South Dakota.

Conservation Measures: The trout-perch is one of only two species in the trout-perch family Percopsidae. Other species in this family are believed to be extinct. The trout-perch may have been more abundant in South Dakota prior to modifications of lakes and streams.


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