According to the Wisconsin DNR, Yellow Perch numbers are up this year, and are the third highest seen in the last 30 years. This may have to do with increased water temperatures that were present during spring and summer this year, as well as an early hatch. A high rate of mortality among first through third year yellow perch has the DNR concerned. Some causes are hypothesized, including predators such as walleye and/or northern pike, as well as birds called cormorants which the DNR are taking specific steps to control. More about the cormorant can be read here. Fishermen are not suspected as being problematic in this instance because most yellow perch they keep are around 8 inches or more, which typically occurs in the third year. Click here for the full press release from the WDNR.
WDNR photo shows an adult yellow perch with young-of-year perch.