Lakes found in:
Cayuga LakeCross LakeLake OntarioOtisco Lake

Smallmouth Bass
Landlocked Salmon
Black Crappie
Largemouth Bass
Brown Trout
Northern Pike
Longnose Gar
Yellow Perch
Lake Trout
Rainbow Trout
Rock Bass
Freshwater Drum
Chain Pickerel
Tiger Musky
Channel Catfish
White Perch

                                                           White Perch


White Perch aren't actually a perch at all, they are related to Striped Bass and White Bass (the temperate basses.)   Of course you probably already knew that if you do a bit of fishing.    "Whities" are highly coveted in Maine and some other parts of New England for their eating qualities.  Around Western and Central NY, people tend to consider them to be a pest.   They're often called "Silver Bass."  White Bass are called that too, but there is a difference.  

White perch often get stunted and have a reputation of being a bait-stealer.  In the 1970s and 80s, Lake Ontario and Irondequoit Bay were just loaded with small white perch.   Otisco Lake was as well.  Cross Lake and the Seneca River are currently loaded with dinky whities.   

Otisco Lake's white perch aren't nearly as numerous as they once were and they are larger than they used to be.   The white perch on the "Species" page was one I caught a couple summers ago on Cayuga Lake, where they would be considered uncommon or downright rare.   I read some old DEC records, that stated back in the 1940s (if I'm not mistaken) thousands of white perch showed up at the dam at the north end of Cayuga Lake, after having migrated up the Seneca River.   Permission was granted for people to net the fish and move them into Cayuga Lake.  Nothing much became of them.  For some reason, these fish don't thrive there.  They seem to do better in murkier more fertile water (they are pelagic in nature.)  I've caught a couple in Cayuga Lake over the past two decades.   I guarantee plenty of them "lock up" into the lake via Mud Locks, but they don't often get caught and the numbers of them remain low.

I've eaten them and they are excellent eating, but the kicker is that they need to be eaten fresh.  Eat them within two days of catching them are they're right up there with rock bass and close to crappies.   Wait another day and they get strong tasting (that word "fishy" comes to mind.)