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Walleye Surfperch

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surf perch
Image and information California Department of Fish & Game

#1: Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. 
It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn. 
- Chuck Clark, on Flyfish@

This is the type of fish you'll most likely catch.

Description: The body of the walleye surfperch is oval and strongly compressed. The head is small and the eyes are large. The mouth is small and slanted downward. The color is silver with faint dusky shading on the back. The tips of the ventral fins are black as are the borders of the anal fin and tail. The walleye surfperch can be distinguished from other surf- perch by the distinctive black tips on the ventral fins and black borders on the tail and anal fins. 

Range: Walleye surfperch occur from Point San Rosarito, Baja California, to Vancouver Island, British Columbia. This species is found in dense schools along sandy beaches, near rocks and around piers. They appear to move into embayments such as Humboldt Bay during summer. 

Natural History: Walleye surfperch feed primarily on small crustaceans. Mating takes place in October, November and December when the usual dense schools break up and the males and females pair off. The encroachment of another male is immediately countered by a quick charge from the courting male toward the intruder's snout. Between 5 and 12 young, depending on the size of the mother, are born the following spring. They average a little over 1.5 inches in length at birth. They reach maturity the following fall and winter; in fact, the largest proportion of the breeding population appears to be young of the year. Walleyes are probably short-lived as are most other surfperches. A 10.5 inch walleye was only 6 years old. 

Fishing Information: Walleyes can be caught in the surf, from rocks, and from piers anywhere along the open coast. They usually are the most abundant surfperch caught from piers. A small hook baited with mussels, pieces of fish, worms, squid or shrimp will catch walleyes any season of the year. Often occurring in dense schools 6 to 8 feet thick, comprised of several hundred fish, the walleye can provide very rewarding fishing. 

Other Common Names: walleye surf fish, walleye sea perch, china pompano, white perch. 

Largest Recorded: Reported to reach 12 inches; however, largest recorded is a 10.75 inch female; no weight recorded. 

Habitat: Bay Environment 

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