surfperch, any member of the family Embiotocidae, a large family of spiny-finned, carnivorous fishes of the perch order. Also known as seaperches and surf fish, most surfperches are found off sandy shores of the North American Pacific Coast. Two species are found off Japan and Korea, and one, the Tule perch, is found in freshwater in the Sacramento River of California. Surfperches, unlike most other marine fishes, bear live young. The various species grow to average lengths of 6 to 18 in. (15–45 cm); most are richly colored. They are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Actinopterygii, order Perciformes, family Embiotocidae.
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