Brian Clark with his new Pennsylvania state record yellow perch.
Pennsylvania has a new state record yellow perch and — surprise, surprise – it came from Lake Erie.
Brian Clark of Edinboro in Erie County was fishing in about 20 feet of water in Presque Isle Bay at 11:30 a.m. on March 30 when he hooked the record fish. It measured 15 15/16 inches and weighed 2 pounds, 14 ounces.
The previous record – also from Presque Isle – was 2 pounds, 11 ounces. It was caught in March of 2010 by Erie resident Jeffrey Matts.
Sensing a theme here?
You should. Lake Erie in general and Presque Isle Bay in particular are the places to go for whopper yellow perch in Pennsylvania.
It’s not just those two fish either.
Each year, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission hands out angler awards for all manner of fish so long as they meet a minimum size. Yellow perch have to be at least 11 inches long and 1 pound, 4 ounces to earn recognition for adult anglers. Kids younger than 16 can get an award for a perch going 12 ounces, regardless of length.
Last year, the commission certified quite a few yellow perch. Four of the top five in terms of weight came from Erie.
The yellow perch ranked two through four weighed 1 pound, 15 ounces; 1 pound, 12 pounces; 1 pound, 12 ounces; and 1 pound, 9 ounces. Two came from Lake Erie, two from Presque Isle.
The only fish bigger last year was a 2 pound, 8 ounce perch pulled from Glendale Lake in Prince Gallitzin State Park in Cambria County.
That’s a beauty, for sure.
But Erie remains Pennsylvania’s perch capital. Three of the biggest five yellow perch recognized with angler awards in 2014 came from Erie and Presque Isle Bay, along with three of five in 2013, five of five in 2012, and five of five in 2010.
Want to beat the newest champ?
The Fish and Boat Commission certifies state records based on total body weight. Potential record fish must exceed the established mark by at least 2 ounces, as weighed on a certified scale.
To be considered for state record certification, a fish must be caught using legal means, in season, from Pennsylvania waters open to the public without charge. Commission staff must also examine the fish.
Complete rules and a record application are available here.
To have a fish considered for angler award status, get an application here.