Golden Perch

Golden perch (Macquarie ambigua), also referred to as yellowbelly and more affectionately known as a ‘yella’, is a popular Australian freshwater native amongst the fishing community.

Golden perch can be found naturally in Victorian tributaries of the Murray-Darling system with the exception of higher altitude streams. They have been introduced into other waters, streams and lakes across the state including metropolitan areas. Some of the known hotspots for targeting yellas across northern Victoria are Goulburn River, Nagambie Lakes, Campaspe River and Lake Eildon. They like deep water and can often be found in slow-moving flows in streams, lakes and backwaters.

Adult golden perch can reach a maximum weight of 23 kilograms and 76 centimetres in length, however, they are most commonly caught under 5 kilograms and 40-50 centimetres in length. They are a large bodied fish with a relatively small head in comparison, a concave forehead and a protruding lower jaw. Golden perch can vary in colour depending on the habitat in their waterways. Typically, golden perch will be brown to greenish in colour on the top half of the body and are distinctly yellow below, hence the name ‘yellow belly.’ Juvenile golden perch are often more silver to grey in colour.

There is no closed season for golden perch, meaning you can fish for yellas year round! Many fishers choose to target golden perch during the spring between September and the end of November to get their natives fix during the Murray cod closed season. Like cod, golden perch are often on the bite early in the morning and in the evening.

In Victoria, Golden perch have a minimum legal size limit of 30cm and a bag limit of 5.

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