Oval-shaped fish with deeply forked caudal (tail) fin.
Dark coloration with a dark bar on side beneath the dorsal (top) fin.
Top fin’s rays are longer in front, shorter in back.
Often has yellow pelvic (bottom) fins.
Upon death, fish turns almost white.
Southern British Columbia to Isla Guadalupe, central Baja California, Mexico.
Found in shallow water, rocky areas, and around piers, pilings, and docks.
Found in oceans and bays.
Bottom-dwelling fish , in depths to 150 feet.
Surfperches have internal fertilization and give birth to live young.
There are often 1-113 young per litter.
Juveniles are born as miniature versions of adults.
Large, hard-shelled invertebrates, such as mussels, crabs, brittle stars, sand dollars, barnacles, bean clams, limpets, dove shells, California cones, Norris top shells, and chitons (a class of marine mollusks).
Adult rubberlip, pile, and striped surfperches are considered too large to be eaten by many predators.
Kelp bass eat juvenile surfperch.
Electric rays, sharks, large serranid bass, seals, and sea lions are also potential predators of surfperch.
Pile surfperch are able to crush all of their hard-shelled prey with their fused teeth plates. Since other perch do not have this ability, some scientists think they should be in their own genus.
It is a common fish caught off of piers; one of the ways to fish for it includes bobbing an entire clump of mussels (their favorite food) with hooks attached!
They are also commonly called pile perch.
Sources: Pierfishing.com; fishnbc.com; CentralBiodiversity.org; Species Profiles: Life Histories and Environmental Requirements of Coastal Fishes and Invertebrates; California Department of Fish and Wildlife