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White Perch: 5 Facts About Louisiana's Official Freshwater Fish

By    |   Friday, 04 Mar 2016 10:43 PM

Louisiana's official freshwater fish has many names: pomoxis annularis, white crappie, speckled perch, papermouth, goggleeye, silver bass, bachelor perch – or just white perch. The state designated white perch the official freshwater fish of Louisiana in 1993, according to State Symbols USA.

1. They're Commonly Called "Sack of Milk"

The English interpretation might not sound as elegant as the Cajun French "sac-a-lait." But when you see the fillets on the menu in Louisiana, you'll know they're talking about white perch. It is a popular dish because of its mild, sweet flavor, according to Louisiana State University.

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2. They're Nest Builders

The white perch is a schooling fish in the sunfish family typically found in shallow water, State Symbols USA said. The males dig a nest in the sand or gravel and lure their mate. The nests of eggs are common in the Mississippi River system in the spring.

3. They Can Grow Up to 7 Pounds

Although white perch typically are 1 to 2 pounds, they can be as large as 7 pounds. The average white perch is 8 to 10 inches long and 1 pound (or less) in weight.

4. They Are Really More Silvery-Green Than White

So, what does this fish look like? It's not really white. It is more of a silvery olive green and looks like it has dark vertical bands around its body. It looks a lot like its larger relative, the striped bass, according to the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. It's deeper than it is long and appears flattened from the sideways view. The white perch's dorsal fin has a maximum of six spines. Compared to a bass, a white perch's head is more concave, and its mouth is smaller.

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5. It's a Good Eating Fish

Perhaps the real reason legislators chose to name it the state fish is because it has a reputation of tasting so good. Fish catalogs classify it as a good eating fish, greatly appreciated for its firm, white flesh, according to The Connoisseur's Guide to Fish & Seafood. It can be poached or broiled, but the preferred method in Louisiana is to batter and deep fry the fillets.

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Louisiana's official freshwater fish has many names: pomoxis annularis, white crappie, speckled perch, papermouth, goggleeye, silver bass, bachelor perch - or just white perch. The state designated white perch the official freshwater fish of Louisiana in 1993.
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2016-43-04
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