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Silver Perch (Bidyanus bidyanus) Photographs and Information

Silver Perch is a freshwater fish native to the Murray/Darling river system in Australia. Wild populations are also located in north east New South Wales and south east Queensland.   Small communities are found in Victoria.  Silver Perch is also farmed.

Silver Perch live in fresh water.  In lakes, reservoirs, streams and rivers.   They can survive in water with temperatures ranging from 2C to 35C.   Optimum growth rates occur between 23-28C and growth is negligible below 12C.

Silver Perch are suited to aquaculture because of their high survival and rapid growth rates.  Commercial production normally occurs in purpose built earthen ponds.   Recommended pond size is 0.3 to 0.4 of a hectare surface area with depths of 0.7 to 1.5 metres.  The ponds should be easily drainable and have a concrete sump to assist in the harvest of stock.

In their natural habitat, Silver Perch spawn during the summer floods when water temperatures are above 20C. A 1.5kg fish may produce up to 500,000 eggs.  Males are difficult to distinguish from females by external examination.  However Females are usually larger and more round when spawning.  At spawning two or three male fish may follow the female near the surface of the water and activity and speed increase at spawning when fish may thrash the water surface.

Eggs are spherical, amber coloured at first but colourless and transparent later, approximately 3m in diameter, non-adhesive and pelagic, but will come to rest on the bottom in still water.  Eggs hatch within 30 hours at temperatures between 22C and 31C.  Fry begin to feed about 5 days after hatching.

Silver Perch are omnivores consuming zooplankton, small crustaceans, aquatic insects, molluscs, algae and plant material.  Juvenile Silver Perch preferentially feed on crustaceans and zooplankton with the proportion of algae and plant material increasing with age.

silver perch, australian native fish, freshwater perch, australian perch

Map showing where Silver Perch (Bidyanus bidyanus) are found in Australia

Silver perch photo, australian silver perch

Habitat - Freshwater. Caught in rivers and lakes

Scientific Name Bidyanus bidyanus
Location Murray and Darling Rivers, Australia, also
N.E. New South Wales, S.E. QLD, also farmed.
Season All year round
Size to 1 kg
Australian Species Code 37 321008
Taste, Texture white, relatively firm flesh.  Mild taste.


Nutritional Information
For every 100 grams raw product
for Silver Perch fillet.

Kilojoules -
Cholesterol 60 mg
Sodium -
Total fat (oil) - g
Saturated fat 31% of total fat
Monounsaturated fat 13% of total fat
Polyunsaturated fat 55% of total fat
Omega-3, EPA 1479mg
Omega-3, DHA 197 mg
Omega-6, AA 19 mg

Angling for Silver Perch:

Silver Perch are a good sportfish on light tackle.  Successful baits include artificial flies, lures, worms, yabbies and shrimps. 

See Also: Bait for Trout and other Freshwater Fish


Cooking Silver Perch:

Silver Perch are ideal as fillets or whole, and well suited to baking, shallow frying, grilling, barbecuing and poaching. The fillets, which are meaty, sturdy and retain their shape when cooked, are well suited to stir-fries, soups, risottos and pasta dishes.

Golden perch is particularly good steamed and marries well with the Asian flavours of chilli, coriander, soy, ginger and garlic. It is prized in Chinese cuisine for presentation as a steamed finfish.

Stuffing a whole Murray cod with wild rice and lemon zest, then baking it wrapped in foil, seals in the flavours, keeps it moist and also presents wonderfully.

Silver perch flesh can be relatively moist when fresh but is otherwise dry. It is best prepared with a medium-flavoured sauce.


Microwave Cooking Times for Fish
- Fish fillets 5 minutes per 500g on medium-high, +50 seconds more for thicker fillets, or until flesh flakes
- Whole fish - Large 6 minutes/750g on medium
- Whole fish Small 3-4 minutes on medium

Silver Perch Fillet, fillet of silver perch, fresh water fish fillet
Silver Perch Fillet


Pan seared perch fish with fried capers Perch fish recipe recipe for perch fish in butter Fish pie on plate with carrot, brocolli and cauliflower
Pan Seared Perch with Fried Capers Perch with Cucumber and Mint Salsa Fresh Perch in Brown Butter Funked-up Fish Pie

Commercial Fishing for Silver Perch:

Farmed fish.

Recovery Rate
Fillets: at least 35% from most whole freshwater finfish (gilled and gutted); up to 50% from whole silver perch

Most wild freshwater fisheries have declined in recent decades. Live Murray cod and silver perch are supplied to restaurants (mainly Chinese) nationwide via aquaculture. Golden perch is hard to feed in captivity and the availability of this species may decrease.

Aquaculture of Silver Perch
Spawning usually occurs in summer (early November to late January), often after long migrations behind the peak of a flood, but movements during the rest of the year are unknown. Females mature in the third year at about 34cm, mature males have been recorded at 23cm. large females produce about 500,000 eggs. Spawning occurs in water temperatures of 23-30oC, often beginning in late afternoon, where there is a water flow over a gravel, rock rubble bottom. There is usually considerable pre-spawning activity at the surface. Eggs hatch within 2 days; larvae commence feeding about 6 days later, individual fish commonly reach 250-300 g in weight in their first year.

Habitat occurs in a variety of water conditions but shows a preference for a fast-flowing waters, especially where there are rapids. Also found in lakes, lagoons and impoundments. Prefers open waters rather than heavily snagged areas, and is often seen in schools near the surface. Often congregates in summer in large numbers below rapids and weirs. Is not reported in inhabit cool, high, upper reaches of streams.


Exporters of Silver Perch  |  Importers of Silver Perch  |  Processors of Silver Perch  |
Wholesale Suppliers of Silver Perch  |  Seafood Agents for Silver Perch

More links about Silver Perch

Western Australian Fisheries - Publications and information on popular freshwater and saltwater aquaculture species: Ornamental Fish, Silver Perch, Black Bream, Red Claw, Trout, Yabbys, Marron, Mussels, Pearls, Western Rock Lobster, Trochus, Abalone, Barramundi,  Fin Fish, Prawns.

Australian Government - Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (PDF file) - Australian Fisheries Statistics 2010/2011




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