Pile perch (Rhacochilus vacca)

Pile perch
Pile perch
Category: Fish
Related species groups: Surfperch

Caught by recreational harvesters within Puget Sound and in embayments along the outer coast.

Description and Range

Physical description

The body of the pile perch is a deep oval shape and is compressed from side to side. It is dark gray or brown with a silvery luster that dominates the color on the sides and belly. There are darker blotches on the back and sides. Juveniles have dark vertical bars that diminish with age. This species has 9-11 dorsal spines and 21-25 dorsal soft rays.

Pile perch can grow up to 44.2 cm (17.4 in) in length and 2 kg (4.4 lbs.) in weight. Maximum age is 10 years old.

Geographic range

Pile perch range from Wrangell, southeastern Alaska to Guadalupe Island, off north-central Baja California, Mexico. Adults are found along rocky shores, often around kelp, pilings and underwater structures, in water depths up to 46 m (150 ft).

State record

WeightAnglerLocationDate Caught
3.57 lbs Steve Urban Quartermaster Harbor March 14, 1981

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