Golden Perch, also known as Yellowbelly, Callop or Murray Perch are native to the Murray Darling Basin and a great fish for stocking in larger dams with a minimum surface area of 500m2 (1/10th of an acre) and minimum volume of one megalitre (million litres).  If your dam is smaller than this then Silver Perch would be a better option.  When stocking Golden Perch, we recommend a stocking rate of 100 fish per surface acre.

Golden Perch are usually available to stock in early summer as fingerlings and will grow quickly in most dams with a natural food supply of insects, shrimp, yabbies and small fish.  If you don’t have much in the way of natural food then before stocking with Golden Perch you should add aquatic plants, floating wetlands and underwater habitat.  Smaller native fish such as Murray River Rainbows, Pygmy Perch or Gudgeons should also be stocked as a food supply for the Golden Perch.  Golden Perch don’t take fish food pellets well so creating a natural food supply is important.

Golden Perch are well suited to dams as they prefer still or sluggish waters.  They have a wide temperature tolerance between 4 – 35 degrees and have no problem with turbidity or moderate salinity.  They’re generally a hardy species.

They’re considered a good angling fish and will take flies, lures and live bait.  In nature, they prefer deep, slow flowing pools with snags and other cover so adding habitat such as floating wetlands, logs, pipes or some of our purpose built artificial fish habitat will result in happier, faster growing fish and a better fishing dam.

Golden Perch can grow up to around 20kg but will usually get to 2-4kg in dams providing a good size fillet.  They’re a good eating fish and rarely have off or muddy flavour.  Any off flavour can be reduced by soaking the fillet in milk or brine water.

Golden Perch can live for over twenty years but their normal life span is less than ten.  In nature, they breed during spring floods producing semi buoyant eggs that drift downstream.  This means that in farm dams even if they breed the eggs won’t remain viable as they will sink to the bottom and become overrun with bacteria, fungus etc.  Restocking every year or so will be required to maintain numbers.

Golden Perch are a great addition to larger dams and are well suited to most areas around Australia but before stocking any kind of fish in your dam please check your local regulations to make sure they’re an approved species in your area.

Golden perch blog Clearwater Lakes & Ponds

Fish habitat