any of 23 species of fishes of the family Embiotocidae (order Perciformes). Surfperches are found in the North Pacific Ocean; two species are native to Japanese waters, but all others are confined to the North American coast, mostly off California. One species, the tule perch (Hysterocarpus traski), inhabits freshwater, but most of the others live in surf along beaches. All saltwater species are unusual among marine fishes in giving birth to live young rather than laying eggs
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