Photo courtesy of Konrad Schmidt
Logperch - Common name
Percina caprodes - Scientific name
Family - Percidae (walleye, perch and darter)
Status : S3, G5
IDENTIFICATION: The logperch reaches up to 7.25 inches (180 mm) in length. It has a yellow-brown back and several vertical bars across its side that alternate in length and join the bars on the other side of the fish. The logperch has two dorsal fins, the first fin has spiny rays whereas the second ray has soft rays. It has a black spot at the base of its rounded tail and a dusky-colored teardrop. The logperch has no scales on the head and northern populations do not have scales along the nape . The logperch is in the same family as the walleye and yellow perch.
SIMILAR SPECIES FOUND IN SOUTH DAKOTA: The logperch looks similar to other darter species, particularly the blackside darter , which is another rare fish in South Dakota. The logperch can be distinguished from other darters in that it is the only darter in South Dakota that has a conical pointed snout that projects past the upper jaw. The blackside darter has dark blotches on the side and its snout does not project beyond the upper jaw. The blackside darter has a fully scaled gill covering , whereas the logperch has no scales on its head.
HABITS AND HABITAT: In South Dakota this species has only been found in vegetated lakes.
DISTRIBUTION: Distribution Map The distribution of the logperch extends from Saskatchewan east to Quebec in Canada and as far south as Texas and western Florida. Eastern South Dakota is on the very western edge of this species' range. It has been found in Blue Dog Lake and Waubay Lake on the Big Sioux Cotteaux in Day County, and in the Big Sioux River Basin in Lake Kampeska in Codington County.
CAUSES OF CONCERN AND CONSERVATION MEASURES: The logperch is rare in South Dakota because it is at the western-most extent of its range. The few existing populations in South Dakota appear to be healthy.