White Perch vs Cod – What’s The Difference? Let’s Compare

White perch and cod are two popular fish people love to cook with. They both have different tastes, nutritional values and textures. When deciding for your next meal, you may wonder, what is the difference between white perch and cod?

Cod tastes milder and less fishy than white perch. Cod provides a higher percentage of protein, less cholesterol, fat and calories. They are different families and species of fish. White perch is silvery and cod is brownish, longer and weighs more. White perch costs less per pound than cod. 

This article will include a side-by-side comparison of all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients contained in both fish. In addition, I’ll examine their tastes, textures, mercury levels, costs and if one can substitute for the other.

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White Perch and Cod Nutrient Comparison

Below is a nutrient comparison of white perch and cod per four ounces:

Nutrient Cod (4 ounces) White Perch (4 Ounces)
Calories 93 134
Total Fat 0.8 g 5.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.1 g 1.3 g
Protein 23 g 21 g
Cholesterol 49 mg 107 mg
Sodium 135 mg 46 mg
Potassium 468 mg 346 mg
Iron 0.4 mg 0.4 mg
Calcium 18.1 mg 27.22 mg

Nutrient Resources 1 2 3

White Perch and Cod: Tastes and Textures

One of the most important things people takes into consideration when choosing a fish is its taste. When comparing the two fish, does white perch taste like cod?

White perch and cod both have a mild to sweet flavor, although white perch can taste fishier. Cod has a buttery taste which white perch doesn’t have. They both have a firm texture although white perch is flakier and falls apart easier.

White perch has a mild to sweet taste. Depending on the area the white perch was caught the taste may be somewhat fishy. The texture is moist, flaky and firm. 

Cod has a non-fishy mild taste. The mild taste can be sweet at times and is good for people who don’t like a fishy tasting seafood. Cod’s texture is firm, flaky and moist if cooked properly. Pacific cods are moister than Atlantic cods.

White Perch and Cod Substitutions

When preparing recipes for dinner it’s not always possible to locate the type of fish called for. If you have some cod, you may ask, can I substitute cod for white perch?

Cod can substitute for white perch due to their similar mild to sweet tastes although white perch’s flavor is stronger and sometimes fishier. Cod has a firm texture allowing a wider variety of cooking methods like grilling. Cod and white perch can be grilled, baked, roasted, poached, fried or seared. 

Other cod substitutes include the following:

  • Haddock
  • Pollock
  • Striped bass
  • Mahi mahi
  • Tilapia
  • Halibut

The best white perch substitutes are:

  • Tilapia
  • Snapper
  • Sole fillets
  • Lake trout
  • Branding

When substituting white perch or cod always stick to the following:

  • Same size and weight.
  • Stick with similar fillets, whole fillet or cross section.
  • Stick with skinless or skin when the recipe calls for one.
  • Texture is more important for certain cooking methods. Like using a firmer texture when grilling 4.

If you’re wondering how cod compared to salmon in omega-3s and nutrients check out my article, Cod vs Salmon: Is One Better?

How Much Does White Perch and Cod Cost

The costs for white perch or cod will vary depending on how the fish are caught. A cod caught in the ocean will definitely be more expensive than farm-raised cod.

When purchasing cod or white perch, be sure to check the label to see if it is wild-caught or farm raised. Therefore, which is more expensive, white perch or cod?

Cod is more expensive than white perch. The average cost for fresh cod fillet is $12.25 per pound while the average cost for fresh white perch fillet is $9.00 per pound. The cost will vary depending on location, whether it is farm-raised or wild-caught, fresh or frozen.

I checked Whyte’s Fishery online and found the following prices for white perch and cod:

  • Fresh wild cod
    • $12.50 per pound
  • Fresh white perch
    • $9.00 per pound

I then checked my local Shoprite supermarket and was only able to find cod. 

  • Fresh, farm Atlantic cod fillet
    • $11.99 per pound

White Perch and Cod Mercury Levels

The EPA and FDA have issued warnings and suggestions regarding mercury levels in fish and how often they should be consumed 5. This is especially important for young infants, developing children and pregnant women.

They established a list of best fish, good choices and ones to avoid based on their mercury levels. Therefore, does white perch or cod have more mercury?

White perch and cod have similar levels of mercury. They are both listed on the FDA’s best choices of fish to consume regarding their mercury levels. The recommendation is consuming them no more than two to three servings a week.

Always check with a physician prior to eating new foods or changing your dietary habits.

If you’re interested in finding about how sea bass compared to cod, check out my article, Sea Bass vs Cod – Is One Better? Let’s Compare.

White Perch vs Cod: Habitats, Size, Weight, Appearance

What is the difference between white perch and cod?

White perch and cod are from different families and species. The average cod is longer and weighs more than white perch. White perch are silvery while cod is brownish. White perch are found in freshwater rivers, lakes and in brackish waters. Cod is a salt water fish and found in the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. 

Scientific Classifications, Families, Species

White perch are from the moronidae family, morone genus and the species M. americana.

Cod are from the Gadidae family, Gadus genus and the species include:

  • Morhua (Atlantic cod)
  • Macrocephalus (Pacific cod)
  • Ogac (Greenland cod)

White perch are not perch. They are completely different families and are closely related to bass.


White perch are native to the Atlantic coast. They can be found from Nova Scotia down to South Carolina. White perch can be found in the Great Lakes, they prefer low-salinity estuaries and frequent coastal rivers and lakes.

Atlantic cod is found in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean from Greenland to North Carolina and in the western Gulf of Maine. Pacific cod is found in the North Pacific Ocean from the Bering Sea to California in the east and to the Sea of Japan in the west 6.


  • White perch are silver with a grayish body. They have a whitish belly and a dark gray to black back.
  • Cod is brownish with dark spots with a cream lateral line running down the body.


  • White perch are small with a highly domed back. They have a faint dusky lateral line, a mildly forked tail and a deep notch in their dorsal fin. 
  • Cod is the typical long, narrow body shape and has three dorsal fins.

Size and Weight

  • White perch grows an average of 7-10″ in length and weighs almost one pound.
  • Cod grows an average 27-34″ in length and weighs 5-15 pounds.


  • White perch lives up to 17 years.
  • Cod lives up to 12 years.

Species Resources 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Read Next – More Cod vs Fish Articles!

Cod Alternatives: The 12 Best Substitutes

Cod vs Chicken – Which Is Healthier? Let’s Compare

Rainbow Trout vs Cod: Which Is Better? Let’s Compare

Cod vs Mahi mahi – What’s The Difference? Let’s Compare

Pacific Cod vs Atlantic Cod – What’s The Difference?

Halibut vs Cod: The Differences in Detail


Article Resources: Foods For Anti-Aging follows strict guidelines to ensure our content is the highest journalistic standard. It's our mission to provide the reader with accurate, honest and unbiased guidance. Our content relies on medical associations, research institutions, government agencies and study resources. Learn more by reading our editorial policy.
  1. Nutrition Value: Cod, raw[]
  2. Nutrition Value: Fish, raw, Atlantic, cod[]
  3. Nutrition Value: White perch fillets, white perch by Turbo Ice[]
  4. Sea Grant North Carolina: Fish Flavors and Substitutions[]
  5. FDA: Advice about Eating Fish[]
  6. Wikipedia: Cod[]
  7. NOAA Fisheries: Atlantic Cod[]
  8. Mass.gov: Learn about Atlantic cod[]
  9. The University of Maine: Maine Seafood Guide – Cod[]
  10. North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission: White Perch[]
  11. USGS: Morone Americana[]
  12. Sea Grant University of Wisconsin: White Perch[]
  13. Maryland Department of Natural Resources: Maryland Fish Facts White Perch[]
  14. Wikipedia: White perch[]

Kevin Garce

Kevin Garce is a Certified Health Coach who encourages people by informing them on nutrition and food topics important to them. His years of research and knowledge inspire people to achieve their goals. Read more here About Me

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