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Silver Perch Bidyanus bidyanus – Native Fish of Australia

Silver Perch Bidyanus bidyanus – Native Fish of Australia Map

Description

A moderate to large fish, body elongate and slender in the young, becoming deeper and compressed in adults. Head is small becoming more beak- like with increasing size, snout almost straight; jaws equal; eyes small, Dorsal fin; origin above pelvic fin.

Size

Commonly reaches 300mm – 400mm and 0.5 -1.5kg but is known to have attained 8kg.

Distribution

Natural range include most of the Murray -Darling drainage excluding the cool, high, upper reaches of streams on the western side of Great Dividing Range; not known upstream of Chinchilla on the Condamine River in the north, Bonshaw on the Dumaresq river in the north east or Albury on the Murray River in the south. Silver perch has been introduced into many eastern coastal river systems of New South Wales and southern eastern Queensland.

Life Cycle

Silver Perch Occurs mainly in fast-flowing waters, especially where there are rapids and races. Spawns in spring and summer after a long migration uptstream to areas behind the peaks of floods. A female may shed 300,00 or more semi-buoyant eggs about 2.75mm in diameter. These develop in a few days to free-feeding stages that drift downstream.

Males mature in age 3 when about 250mm long and females in year 5 when about 290mm. Silver perch have been recorded to be as old as 27years.

They feed on small aquatic insects, molluscs, earthworms and green algae.

Silver Perch in captivity

Silver perch have been farmed commercially for decades. They are an ideal fish for growing ponds and raceways. They will also grow in tanks; however, some tank systems do not produce perfect results. For reasons not fully understood, some tanks system seems to result in a growth barrier at about 300-350grams. For hobby aquaponics systems this probably won’t be a problem as 350grams is still a good plate size whole fish.

Silver perch in Dams

Silver perch in Dams

Silver Perch are perfect for farm dams. They grow fast, are good survivors and are omnivores, eating plants, weeds, algae, worms, insects, crustaceans and anything they can find. You stock at 200 fingerlings per mega litre of water and wait 18 months before you go fishing and catch a feed.

They will eat worms and most other aquatic life including weeds. Should you add fingerlings in the future the older fish are very unlikely to eat the new fingerlings. They readily take artificial food, such as aquaculture pellets, chook pellets or bread. Bread or chook foods are not the best of diets for fish but will do in small quantities. Aquaculture pellets are a properly balanced diet and fish will thrive on these commercially available foods.

As the Silver Perch soon come to know when they will be fed, they will be ready and waiting near the surface at feeding time. We recommend Silver Perch be fed during the late evening. If they are fed early in the morning there is a risk that birds may eat your fish before you are up and about, especially in summer when it is light very early.

silver perch are one of the best fishes to stock in dams as they’re easy to find, easy to grow, tolerant of a variety of environmental conditions, are good to catch and good to eat.