Striped Surfperch

Striped Surfperch Embiotoca lateralis

Type of Animal:

Rocky areas w/ dense algae growth, rocky coasts, kelp beds, sandy surf near rocks, shallow rocky shore waters near bottom, cold water rocky bottoms, shallow kelp areas, rocky reefs, bays, estuaries, can be found in waters from surface all the way to depths of 312 ft

NE Pacific from SE Alaska to Baja California

Deep oval shaped compressed fish w/ copper background color & blue & orange horizontal stripes, head has series of blue spots & stripes, coppery fins

Shrimp, crabs, marine worms, brittle stars, fish eggs, bryozoans, bivalves, gastropods, sea urchins, isopods, gammarid amphipods

Status in Wild:

Limits on how many fish are caught & certain fishing seasons

Small schools of 10-70 fish

Additional Info:

Young: Fry
Group: School

Male: 0.8-1.3 lbs
Female: 1-2 lbs

6.5-7 months

Life Span:
6-10 years

Body Length:
Male: 8.6-12.5 in
Female: 9.8-16 in
Young: 4 in

Tail Width:
3.5 in, same for both sexes

Main predators are striped bass, California halibut, Pacific bonito, lingcod, salmon, rockfishes, kelp bass, barred sand bass, sharks, seals, river otters, great blue herons, terns, cormorants, loons, osprey, gulls, & electric rays.

These fish viviparous w/ females giving birth to 11-92 live young. 

Reach maturity at 2 years old.

Fry typically born between April & June.

Also called Striped Seaperch, Blue Perch, Mojarra Azul, Rainbow Perch, Perca, Squawfish,  Crugnoli, & Striped Perch.

Active during the day (diurnal).

Often compete w/ closely related Black Surfperch for food. Interestingly, juveniles of both species often co-mingle.

Females move to shallower waters to give birth.

Typically breed between August & October. 

Deeper water occurrences more frequent in summer & fall.

Males perform courtship dances to attract females.

Fun Fact(s):
Sometimes used as baitfish for larger fish.

Fairly popular food fish (especially for pan-frying). Even more popular as sport fish.

These fish have soft texture & rather mild flavor.

Many anglers avoid fishing for them in the spring since that is when females give birth.

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