White perch and white bass are both quite easy to catch and make for good eating. However, I was curious whether one is better than the other based on the nutrients they contain. So, I looked into the data, and here’s what I found.
White bass is healthier than white perch because it contains less calories, saturated fat and cholesterol. White bass contains only 1g of saturated fat while white perch contains over half, 2.3g per 7 ounce serving. Unhealthy saturated fat is associated with increased body fat and bad cholesterol.
This article will contain a side-by-side nutrient comparison found in both fish. In addition, I’ll examine their taste, texture and why some people consider white perch to be bad.
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White Perch vs White Bass: Nutrient Comparison
The numbers are based on quite a generous serving of 7 oz (200g). This is about the serving size in a dish like fish with salad and root vegetables or fish and chips.
|Total Fat||4 g||9.4 g|
|Saturated Fat||1 g||2.3 g|
|Protein||37 g||37 g|
|Cholesterol||81 mg||187 mg|
|Sodium||135 mg||81 mg|
|Potassium||508 mg||520 mg|
|Calcium||20 mg||47 mg|
From the table above you can see how white bass contains less calories, total fat and saturated fat 1. Saturated fat is something people want to stay clear of. It’s associated with an increase in body fat, weight and bad cholesterol.
White bass is also lower in cholesterol. White perch contains less sodium and has double the amount of calcium. Other nutrients like protein and potassium are very similar between the two fish 2.
These numbers give you a good idea of how the nutrients differ between them. It’s also helpful to look at the number of nutrients they contain based on the recommended daily intake of each of the nutrients.
The percentages of protein and potassium are high for both fish. For those looking to build muscle, the 37 grams of protein are ideal.
Typically, it’s recommended for bodybuilders to consume 1g of protein per 1 lb of body weight. The average male needs much less protein and can fulfill over half of the daily requirement in one serving.
Potassium is extremely important for high blood pressure. It helps rid the body of excess sodium and fluids. Maintaining the potassium to sodium ratio of 4:1 is recommended. Consuming that much potassium is not always easy, therefore, the 500 mg in the fish is helpful.
Calorie intake is correlated with putting on and losing weight. For example, it’s common wisdom in the weight loss space to consume fewer calories than you burn.
Both white perch and white bass have a fairly low amount of calories. Therefore, all things considered, both fish are great for maintaining or developing a really good physique.
Which Is Better Eating: White Perch vs White Bass
White bass and white perch have quite different flavors and textures. In general, most people prefer white perch to white bass. It does vary from person to person based on how strong of a fishy taste you like.
In general, white bass has a medium fishy taste, and the flesh is medium firm. Whereas white perch has a sweeter taste and has a crumbly and firm texture. White bass has more oil than white perch which can account for the more fishy taste.
However, it does depend on each individuals preferences. There is a special trick to preparing white bass to remove the fishy taste. In addition, it’ll make the texture more delicate and crumbly.
To remove the stronger fishy flavor, some people remove the red flesh long the ribs before eating it.
Some people don’t mind a fishy taste and particularly like stronger tasting fish like salmon and sardines. Therefore, taste varies from person to person.
Now that you’re aware of the flavor and nutrient differences, let’s examine the differences between the two and how to identify them.
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Are White Bass and White Perch the Same?
White bass and white perch are both silver colored fish that look very similar. Some fisherman have a difficult time telling them apart. For this reason many people ask, are white bass and white perch the same?
White bass and white perch are different species. White bass has the scientific name Morone chrysops, whereas white perch has the scientific name M. americana, or R. americanus. White bass grow larger in size than white perch and have horizontal stripes running down the body that white perch doesn’t have.
Most white bass grow to about 10-12 inches long, although some may reach 18 inches 3. White perch grow to about 5-7 inches in length.
The white bass have about seven to ten stripes running down the body all the way to the tail fin 4. If you catch or see a fish with no stripes, most likely it’s a white perch.
White perch can be found in freshwater or saltwater while white bass are found in freshwater.
White bass enjoy cool, clear water and are typically found in ponds, lakes, rivers and reservoirs 5. Freshwater white perch live in lakes or ponds while saltwater frequent coastal streams and brackish estuaries.
Both fish school making it easy to catch many of them at the same time.
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Why Are White Perch a Problem?
Although white perch is one of the most delicious fish, it’s also considered a pest in some States. I was curious why this is, so I looked into it further and found the answer to, why are white perch bad?
White perch are considered an invasive species that competes with other native fish while destroying the natural habitat in certain municipalities. White perch prey on fish eggs. In these areas, it’s encouraged to take them with you once caught, rather than catch and release to help control their population.
White perch prey on fish eggs and compete with native fish, particularly white bass and walleye. In some areas, once white perch have established themselves, native fish populations have drastically reduced 6.
It’s often mistaken for white bass native to many of the same waters where white perch is found. As they look very similar in appearance to young white bass. The exact municipalities where it’s considered an invasive species varies and is updated from time to time.
So, it pays to check the Fish and Wildlife website for your municipality if you’re unsure about its status 7. In addition, some state laws forbid the possession of live white perch.
White Bass vs White Perch: Mercury Levels
The FDA and EPA have issued advice regarding consuming fish and mercury levels 8. They developed an easy to read chart about which fish has higher mercury levels than others and how many times each fish should be consumed each week based on their mercury levels.
This is especially important for pregnant women or women breastfeeding. Luckily many fish are healthy and low in mercury. How about white bass and white perch?
Are white bass high in mercury? White bass has safe levels of mercury and is listed under the FDA’s good choices of fish to eat. The FDA recommends eating one serving of white bass a week.
Is white perch high in mercury? White perch is lower in mercury and listed under the FDA’s best choices for fish to eat. The FDA recommends perch fish are safe to eat two to three servings a week.
Some large fish caught by family or friends, like some trout, perch, carp and catfish, are more likely to have fish advisories for mercury or other contaminants. Always check with your state for advisories which will advise you on how often you can safely eat those fish.
White Bass and White Perch Substitutions
While we don’t always have the same exact fish available for a particular recipe, you’ll want to know what other fish can be used. Can white bass be substituted with white perch?
White bass and white perch can be substituted for each other, although they have different tastes and textures. Use the same weight, proportions and preparation when substituting white bass and perch.
What are white bass substitutes? White bass substitutes include ocean trout, Arctic char, bluefish or salmon.
What are white perch substitutes? White perch substitutes include branding, tilapia, catfish fillets, lake trout, snapper or sole fillets.
When substituting one fish for the other always stick to the following:
- Same weight and size.
- Try sticking with similar fillets, whole fillet or cross section.
- Texture is more important for certain cooking methods. Like using a firmer texture when grilling 9.
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- UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment: White Bass
- North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission: White Perch
- Wikipedia: White Bass
- Michigan State University: Invaders on the move: Mystery Snails and White Perch
- University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Impact of White Perch on Walleye
- FDA: Advice about Eating Fish
- Sea Grant North Carolina: Fish Flavors and Substitutions