This section is from the book "American Game Fishes", by W. A. Perry. Also available from Amazon: American Game Fishes: Their Habits, Habitat, and Peculiarities; How, When, and Where to Angle for Them.
Rock-Bass or Red Eye.
Body oblong-ovate, compressed, the back considerably elevated anteriorly, depressed over the eye, the snout projecting at an angle. Mouth terminal, very large, the maxillary very broad, extending beyond pupil. Eye very large, 4 to 5-in. head. Scales on cheek in about eight series. Preopercle decidedly serrate. Dorsal spines rather low, strong. Pectoral short, barely reaching anal. Color blackish above, sides silvery, with about seven vertical blackish bars, irregular inform and position and more or less interrupted; a black opercular spot; fins nearly plain. Head 2 2-3; depth 2 1-2. D. XIII, 10; scales about 7-51 -14. L. 12 inches. Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers; abundant; the only freshwater percoid west of the Rocky Mountains.
This fine fish is the double of the Rock Bass, which it resembles very closely, in size, color and habits. It is found only in the sloughs of the Sacramento and the San Joaquin Rivers, and it is the only fresh-water fish of the Perch or Bass kind which is found west of the Rocky Mountains. It seems to be a lineal descendant of our Rock Bass, and how it came to California is one of the standing puzzles in the geographical distribution of fishes.
There is in the Sacramento another fish, likewise wrongly called a "Perch," a viviparous "Surf-fish" or Embiotocoid, Hysteroccirpus traski. This species is of little importance as food or as game, but it is very interesting to naturalists from the fact that it brings forth its young alive. It gives birth to some eight or ten young, each about an inch in length, and quite ready at birth to take care of themselves.
the round bass-Centrarckus macropterus (Lacepede).
Body very short, suborbicular, the snout projecting; back and belly closely compressed; the greatest thickness of the body being through the opercular region; top of head broad and flattish, the interorbital space being about equal to eye; mouth small, very oblique, the maxillary scarcely reaching middle of eye; eye very large, about 3-in.
head; head 3 in length of body; greatest depth 2; dorsal XI to XIII, 12 or 13; anal VIII, 13 or 14, lateral line with 37 to 43 scales. Color silvery green, with about 20 horizontal dark stripes along the rows of scales: a black spot on last rays of dorsal: a blackish bar below eye. Length 4 to 6 inches.
An elegant little fish, very abundant in the lowland streams of the South, and coming as far north as Virginia and Southern Illinois. It is a good food-fish, but it rarely weighs half a pound. It especially abounds in the clear dark waters among the cypress-knees.