Log Perch
central mudminnow

What's In a Name?
Logperch: the name possibly refers to the shape of its body (log-shaped)

Percina (purr-seen´-ah) means "little perch" in Latin
caprodes (cah-pro´-dees) means "resembling a pig" in Greek, referring to this fish's snout

Where Do They Live?
Logperch are common in the non-prairie areas of Minnesota in lakes, streams, and rivers. They are found most often in waters that are clear, slow moving to medium swift, and have bottoms of sand, gravel, and boulders. However, they also live in some turbid (cloudy) rivers like the Mississippi. They are often found with white suckers, central stonerollers, blacknosed dace, sand shiners, and other species of darters.

How Big Do They Get?
How Long Do They Live?

Logperch are Minnesota's second largest darter. Many reach 115-130 mm (4.5-5.1 in) in length and 13-19 g (0.5-0.7 oz). Under the right conditions a logperch could get up to 150 mm (almost 6 in) at the maximum. They live to a maximum of 4 years, although very few reach that age.

What Do They Eat?
Juvenile logperch eat a mixture of tiny organisms such as rotifers, copepods, and waterfleas. As logperch grow, they incorporate a greater variety of small aquatic creatures. They eat mostly aquatic insects (especially mayfly and midge larvae), but include young snails, waterfleas, leeches, and fish eggs (including their own) when available.

What Eats Them?
Logperch fall prey to piscivorous (fish-eating) fish more often in lakes than they do in streams. These piscivores include largemouth bass, burbot, lake trout, northern pike, rock bass, and walleyes. Logperch that spend time in shallow, slow water also are eaten by fish-eating birds, such as terns and mergansers. Humans do not eat logperch, but they are sometimes used illegally as bait.

How Do They Reproduce?
Statewide, the logperch spawning season begins in late April and goes into early July. Logperch prepare no nest and give no care to the eggs or the larval after they hatch. The spawning site is normally in an area of clean sand or gravel in water 2-200 cm (4 in to 6 ft) deep. Lake spawning logperch do not form or guard territories and they sometimes seem to spawn in schools. In streams, males guard areas around females rather than specific areas of the stream. A male waits for a female to approach and, once the female goes to the bottom, the male follows her and lies on top of her. The two vibrate and release their eggs and sperm at the same time. Sometimes additional males join the pair. The movement of the fish causes sand and gravel to cover the eggs somewhat. A female lays 10-20 eggs each time she spawns. One female may lay several hundred to 2,000 eggs in a season, depending on her size. The eggs (embryos really) hatch in 7-14 days depending on the temperature of the water.

Conservation and Management
Logperch have no special conservation status in Minnesota. They make a good aquarium fish, but must be collected and maintained by special permit.

Natural History of Minnesota Fishes

Photograph by John Lyons WiDNR
Text by Nicole Paulson & Jay T. Hatch in cooperation with
the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' MinnAqua Aquatic Program