Issues: Yellow Perch

Fred Kelly, the Severn Riverkeeper, began every spring fishing for Yellow Perch with his father. He continued the tradition with his son. Tragically, because of poor reproduction in recent years, it is now illegal for him to fish for Yellow Perch with his grandson.


Back in the 1930s Severn Run (the freshwater stream entering the head of the Severn) was the site of a DNR yellow perch hatchery, and the tidal Severn was known for its great yellow perch fishing up through the 1950s. After years of decline and unsuccessful attempts to restore the fishery by stocking, the DNR closed the Severn and neighboring rivers to yellow perch fishing. In May of 2005, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources released the Interim.

A recent Yellow Perch Study implicates poor water quality as the cause of it decline in the Severn.

Read the study.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has asked us to help them monitor the annual spawn. Every spring, we collaborate with the Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center to conduct plankton tows in the upper Severn for Yellow Perch larvae. Unfortunately, we have been finding few larvae, and the ones we do are in poor condition.