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Thread: Surfperch in Alaska?

  1. #1
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Surfperch in Alaska?

    Doing some research on surfperch (because apparently I have that kind of time on my hands), and one reference indicates that Walleye Surfperch (Hyperprosopon argenteum) are found as far north as Port Wrangell, Alaska (out on the Alaska Peninsula). But although I have spearfished them in Puget Sound, Washington, and caught them on the Oregon coast, I have never seen or hear of any surfperch being caught in Alaska.

    Anyone have any insights on this one?

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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    I remember large schools of baitfish at the Mountain Point boat ramp in Ketchikan, they'd show up in summer time right under the dock and cleaning table. Guys use to fish them a lot, they called em shiners, usually 4-9". But they looked like the same surf perch we used to catch of the beaches in the Bodega Bay area if I remember correctly.
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    Michael, there's usually big swarms of what appear to be surf perch at some of the cleaning stations in Ketchikan. When I go up there this summer, I'll catch one or two & post photos to see if it's the same fish you're referring to.

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    don't know much about them but there a lot of different types over 12, I think, they are a heavy fish 3 LBS an only 16 inches long [ one type ]
    lots of different sizes the largest one's go to about 17.5 inches it all depends on the ones you are looking for as to the size ,
    SID

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    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Pacific fishes of Canada(Hart) cites Port Wrangell as the northernmost range of the shiner and striped surfperch, but gives the northern range of the walleye as southern British Columbia. He also lists the pile perch as being found in SE Alaska.
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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by homerdave View Post
    Pacific fishes of Canada(Hart) cites Port Wrangell as the northernmost range of the shiner and striped surfperch, but gives the northern range of the walleye as southern British Columbia. He also lists the pile perch as being found in SE Alaska.
    Good info, Dave. I misquoted my source. Should have been shiner surfperch. My info came from THIS LINK, but I don't know who they were quoting. They don't show pile perch any farther north than Northern California, and they don't show striped surfperch at all. Not surprising, given it's a California site. I remember spearfishing striped surfperch in the Pacific Northwest years ago.

    I'm surprised not to hear much from our members from Southeast Alaska about these fish. Must not be many around, I guess.

    The reason I asked about them is because one of our vendors mistakenly shipped us an incorrect booklet on how to catch surfperch, and we are trying to determine if it would be of interest to our readers, or if we should send it back.

    -Mike
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    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Send em back...
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    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Since I also seem to have "that kind of time on my hands" I found out some other cool stuff about surfperch. They are evolved from rift lake cichlids in Tanganyika/Malawi africa. They are all true (viviparous) live bearers. The dwarf surfperch gives birth to females first, then the male young, and they all mate within hours of birth. There is one freshwater species in California, the tule perch.
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    Member kodiakbound's Avatar
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    As a side note, the redtail surfperch I used to catch off the Oregon beaches were in my top 3 tastiest fish I've ever had. Make one hell of a fish taco or fish sandwhich!!

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakbound View Post
    As a side note, the redtail surfperch I used to catch off the Oregon beaches were in my top 3 tastiest fish I've ever had. Make one hell of a fish taco or fish sandwhich!!
    Mouth watering at the thought... Do they taste anything like freshwater perch? Do you scale 'em and leave the skin on, or skin 'em?
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    Caught them in WA. Nice white meat. A little soft but tasty.



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    Member kodiakbound's Avatar
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    fillet and skin, just like a rock fish. Taste a lot like rock sole to me. Never had any that were soft...but I always found everything in Washington to be a bit soft
    Experience is a hard teacher because you get the test first and the lesson afterwards.

  13. #13

    Default Love surf perch

    I wish we had them this far north (southcentral/kenai peninsula) but never heard of them. Grew up catching them in Oregon, and taking kids fishing for them.
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    We caught perch in the inner harbor in Wrangell town. They surprised me but were very abundant.
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