Perch in Lake Winnebago poised for resurgence in 2018

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LAKE WINNEBAGO, Wis. (WBAY-TV) A favorite type of fishing among those angling on Lake Winnebago is picking up.

The DNR says yellow perch are poised for a resurgence this year.

"They're one of the finest fish in the waters," fisherman, Brett Derringer said. "Walleye are great. I love blue gill, but perch are number one and momma loves them so that's a bonus too."

Fishtales in Oshkosh has been in business for eight years and sees a banner year in the making.

"The best I've seen it personally since I've opened," Fishtales Owner Cory Van Vonderen said. "It's just been a really good year for the perch."

Action 2 New's Skyview 2 drone saw a lot of activity on Lake Winnebago Tuesday.

"I'm hearing guys getting them all up and down the lake, it's like any reef they're catching perch," said Van Vonderen.

The DNR says perch fishing has grown in popularity over the past decade.

"Started seeing more consistent years classes so perch became more abundant," said DNR Fisheries Biologist Ryan Koenigs.

Year classes are fish younger than a year old.

The DNR has studied perch for decades and finds catch rates for adult perch were low between 2015 and 2017, but increased sharply in 2018.

"There is a strong cohort adult fish within the population and that's what anglers are keying in on," Koenigs said. "And most of those fish are from a strong year class in 2016."

As far as how the fishing looks for features years for yellow perch, the DNR says it's hard to tell.

"What the future holds for the next few years is really driven by those year classes that we don't know what they're going to be right now," said Koenigs.

The DNR recommends people get out to enjoy the catch this year.