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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Biology, History, Status and Conservation of Sacramento Perch, Archoplites interruptus


This paper is a review of the biology of Sacramento perch (Archoplites interruptus) based mainly on recent studies of their distribution, ecology, physiology, and genetics. The Sacramento perch is the only member of the family Centrarchidae that is endemic to California. It is most closely related to the rock basses (Ambloplites spp.) and is thought to have split from its eastern cousins during the Middle Miocene Period (15.5 to 5.2 million years ago, MYA). Their native range includes the Central Valley, Pajaro and Salinas rivers, tributaries to the San Francisco Estuary (e.g., Alameda Creek), and Clear Lake (Lake County). Today, they are most likely extirpated from all of their native range. They are known to persist in 28 waters outside their native range: 17 in California, nine in Nevada, and one each in Utah and Colorado. Disappearance from their native range coincided with massive changes to aquatic habitats in the Central Valley and with the introduction of alien species, including other centrarchids. Unfortunately, many populations established outside their native range have also disappeared and are continuing to do so.

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