Blue perch

One of the most unique catches in recent memory came last week on Lake Chetek when the Eschler family—Michelle and Chad, along with their kids, Logan, 8, and Austin, 5—of Sun Prairie, caught this rare blue perch on the afternoon of July 2. The Eschlers were visiting Michelle’s parents, Rick and Jan Purintun, who own Shorewood Resort, and were on a family fishing outing slightly north of the resort when the roughly 8-inch blue perch bit a small, artificial bait called a Mini-Mite. The family released the fish after a few photos. “It is a very rare and unique fish. It is the first one I have heard of in my area,” stated DNR fisheries biologist Aaron Cole, who has covered the Barron County and Polk County area for seven years. “It is a yellow perch with blue pigmentation. It’s likely a genetic mutation that causes it to express the blue color.  Once in a while, you will see fish that are a different color or have different patterns than their species typically has. But this is certainly a rare catch.” 

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