22 West Coast Species of Surfperches • Status from 1920s to 2003 • CAWildlife.gov

PDF: 2003 Report on Status of 18  Local Species of CA Surfperches

whereas the drop in landings from 1983 to 2001 appears to be due to declines in surfperch populations.

Overview of the Fishery


The 22 species in the surfperch family, Embiotocidae, are commonly called surfperch, seaperch and perch. They are found predominantly in temperate, northeastern Pacific waters; however, three species are found in the Sea of Japan and one species (tule perch, Hysterocarpus traski) occupies freshwater and estuarine habitats in California.

Eighteen species occur in California’s coastal waters:

  1. barred surfperch Amphistichus argenteus
  2. black perch Embiotoca jacksoni
  3. calico surfperch Amphistichus koelzi
  4. dwarf perch Micrometrus minimus
  5. kelp perch Brachyistius frenatus
  6. pile perch Rhacochilus vacca
  7. pink seaperch Zalembius rosaceus
  8. rainbow seaperch Hypsurus caryi
  9. redtail surfperch Amphistichus rhodoterus
  10. reef perch Micrometrus aurora
  11. rubberlip seaperch Rhacochilus toxotes
  12. sharpnose seaperch Phanerodon atripes
  13. shiner perch Cymatogaster aggregate
  14. silver surfperch Hyperprosopon ellipticum
  15. spotfin surfperch Hyperprosopon anale
  16. striped seaperch Embiotoca lateralis
  17. walleye surfperch Hyperprosopon argenteum
  18. white seaperch Phanerodon furcataus

  • one Estuary|Freshwater CA perch
  • 3 from Sea of Japan
  • 3 from Sea of Japan
  • 3 from Sea of Japan

The island surfperch, Cymatogaster gracilis, was once thought to be a separate species, however it is now considered synonymous with shiner perch.

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La Jolla Underwater Park • Sept 17 Log

Time Weather Ocean
7:25 AM 67°, Clouds 68°
Vis. Surf Tide
10-15′ ≤ 2′ High +1.4
@ 8:24
3 Divers • 12 Species Observed
are we supposed to add Latitude and Longitude
check the Reef.org site

Video Clips

Inshore Fishes Survey (Reef.org Format)

  • Single • Few (2-10) • Many (11-100) • Abundant
  • Solo • Pairs • Groups (3-5) • Schools (≥6)
Fish Family Species | ID Photo Links Numbers | Groupings
*** *** ***
Damselfish Garibaldi (adults) F | solo
Damselfish Blacksmith
Wrasse CA  Sheephead (female)
eating Bryozoa?
F | pair
Wrasse Rock Wrasse (male)
sucker lips extended (cleaners)
black spot behind pectoral
F | solo
Wrasse Señorita
Sea Chub Opaleye F | small groups
Sea Chub Zebra Perch F | pair
Sea Chub Halfmoon
Surfperch 18 CA marine species:
Rainbow Perch
Rubberlipped Seaperch
Striped Seaperch
Kelp Perch
Pile Perch

Round Stingray Round Ray S^
Rhinobatidae Shovelnose Guitarfish ^ (up to 5′)
Rhinobatidae Banded Guitarfish^ (up to 3′)
Rhinobatidae Bat Ray
Rajidae Thornback Ray
Sea Bass Kelp Bass congregation*
Video: Schooling Kelp Bass
Video: Agressive Kelp Bass
Sea Bass Barred Sand Bass
Grunt Sargo ^ (note hump in back
vs Zebraperch)
 S| solo
Grunt Salema?^|  (big eye bass, striped bass) M | school
Silverside Topsmelt A | schools
Houndshark Soupfin Shark (aka Tope) S
Houndshark Leopard Shark
Bullhead Shark Horn Shark
Tube/ Kelp Blenny Giant Kelpfish (no pic) S
Drum/Croaker CA Corbina (Shortfin?)
  • ^Not on Reef.org primary species list
  • Note: left Goby, Greenling, Sculpin, & Scorpionfish families off table since rarely seen in shallow waters of the La Jolla Underwater park (except at night, one of our divers reports)

For Gallery-Slideshow and Resources for Identifying Fishes

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Test of (Jetpack) Gallery for Reef.org Survey

Gallery is better choice for Surveys than Slideshow [BUT only with a THEME that supports Jetpack Slideshow–this theme, SELA, does NOT] because: click on it and it turns into a slide show and shows pic titles with Family|Species captions

Still need to ID slides #9 and #10 –these are not the same fish!) candidates: Zebraperch; Barred Perch

Test NextGen Slideshow-for Reef.org Surveys

NOTE these examples (slideshow, gallery, image browser) are all LEGACY NextGen templates–why? do I need to get PRO? or change to a theme that supports Jetpack slideshows?

NextGen Slideshow: arrows on, pause on cursor off… but no image names! and if I enlarge does it jump to small in between each enlarged slide? it was doing that–but it stopped now–I turned off “fade” in transition

NextGen Gallery



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Traditional Classification vs Phylogenetic (using Fish as an Example)

Traditional classification

Traditional spindle diagram of the evolution of the vertebrates at CLASS level

Conventional classification has living vertebrates grouped into seven CLASSES based on traditional interpretations of gross anatomical and physiological traits. This classification is the one most commonly encountered in school textbooks, overviews, non-specialist, and popular works. The extant vertebrates are:

  • Subphylum Vertebrata: 7 Classes (often taught as 5 Vertebrate Classes, by collapsing the 3 fish classes into one)

In addition to these, there are two classes of extinct armoured fishes, the Placodermi and the Acanthodii, both of which are considered paraphyletic.

Add Info on Phylogenetic (using Fish as an Example)