Redtail surfperch (Amphistichus rhodoterus)

Underwater photo of a redtail surfperch - wide oval shaped silver fish with reddish tail and fin highlights
Redtail surfperch (Robertson, D Ross)
Category: Fish
Related species groups: Surfperch

Caught by recreational harvesters off the outer Washington coast.

Description and Range

Physical description

The body of the redtail surfperch is a deep oval shape and is compressed from side to side. It is about twice as long as it is high. It is silver to white in color with olive green vertical markings and red or pink fins. The vertical marks are bars when the fish is young and become less distinct as the fish grows. The fins of the redtail surfperch have both rays and spines and the tail is moderately forked. This species has a small, upturned mouth. The upper profile of the head is almost straight from the tip of the snout to the first dorsal fin, except for a slight depression above the eye.

Redtail surfperch can grow up to 41 cm (16.1 in) in length and 2.1 kg (4.5 lbs.) in weight. Maximum age is 14 years old.

Geographic range

Redtail surfperch range from Avila Beach, California to Hope Island, British Columbia. They are found in schools and are common along sandy ocean beaches and jetties.

State record

WeightAnglerLocationDate Caught
4.05 lbs Chris Maynard Kalaloch August 4, 1996

See all sportfish records