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Finfish Species

Other Finfish

Cabezon Scorpaenichthys marmoratus

Cabezon

Cabezon

Description

Scaleless. Brown, reddish, or greenish above, whitish or greenish below. Upper preopercular spine stout, slightly curved. A large branched cirrus above eye. A triangular flap of skin on snout. 5 soft rays in pelvic fin.

Size

To 99 cm. (39 in.).

Range/Habitat

Alaska to central Baja.

Depth

Intertidal and to 40 fm.

Remarks

A sculpin commonly caught by sport fishermen.

Credits

Picture: ODFW.
Text: Peterson Field Guide to Pacific Coast Fishes.

Electric Ray Torpedo californica

Electric Ray Description

Disc nearly round. Thick and flabby. Smopoth skin, short stocky tail with two dorsal fins and a large caudal fin. Dark gray to bluish, or brownish gray above. Often with small irregular black spots.

Size

Females to 137 cm. (4.5 ft.); males to 91 cm. (3 ft.).

Range/Habitat

Northern British Columbia to central Baja.

Depth

1.7 - 150 fm.

Remarks

Electric rays off Peru, Chile, and Japan may be this species.

Other common names

Pacific Electric Ray

Credits

Picture: Bill Barss, ODFW.
Text: Peterson Field Guide to Pacific Coast Fishes

Jack Mackerel Trachurus symmetricus

Jack Mackerel

Jackmackerel

 

Description

A common northern jack. Spinous dorsal fin slightly higher than soft dorsal fin. Pectoral fin ends before front of anal fin. Scutes are located along the lateral line; scutes at front are smaller. Lateral line dips strongly at end of pectoral fin. In some large individuals, last few rays at rear of soft dorsal and anal fins are almost entirely separate from rest of fin-like finlets. Metallic blue to olive-green above; silvery below. Dark spot on upper rear of gill cover. Top of head and area near eye quite dark. Fins mostly clear, but caudal fin yellowish to reddish.

Size

To 81 cm (32 inches).

Range/Habitat

SE. Alaska to S. Baja. Pelagic, often in large schools. Young frequently school near kep and under piers.

Depth

Surface to at least 100 fm. Often offshore.

Remarks

Often caught on baited hook from piers and boats, also while salmon trolling. Commercially fished along our coast. Feeds on crustaceans, other pelagic organisms, small fishes. Large individuals often move inshore and north in the summer.

Credits

Picture: Bill Barss; Text: Peterson Field Guide to Pacific Coast Fishes, 1983.

Kelp Greenling Hexogrammos decagrammus

Kelp Greenling

Description

Females freckled all over with small reddish brown to golden spots on gray to brownish background; fins mostly yellowish orange. Male gray to brownish olive, with irregular blue spots on front of body; each spot surrounded by ring of small reddish brown spots. Inside of mouth yellowish. Anal fin usually has one weak spine.

Size

To 53 cm. (21 in.).

Range/Habitat

Aleutian Islands to La Jolla; rare in southern California

Depth

To 25 fm.

Remarks

Similar to Lingcod which has a much larger mouth, jaw extending beyond eye.

Other common names

Sea Trout

Credits

Picture: Bill Barss; Text: Peterson Field Guide to Pacific Coast Fishes

Lingcod Ophiodon elongatus

Lingcod

Lingcod

Description

Large, elongate. Dorsal fin long; spinous and soft-rayed parts nearly separated by a notch. Mouth large, upper jaw extends past eye. Teeth large, caninelike. 1 lateral line. Head unscaled; body covered with small cycloid scales. 3 spines in anal fin. A cirrus above eye. Gray to brown or green or bluish above, with darker and lighter spotting; paler below. Young blotched; caudal fin forked.

Size

To 152 cm (5 feet), about 70 lb, but rarely more than 4 ft, 40 lb., females larger.

Range/Habitat

Kodiak I. to N. Baja.

Depth

Adults near rocks; insohore and to 230 fm. Young on sand or mud bottom of bays and inshore areas.

Remarks

Very important sport and commercial species. Prized by bottom-fishing sport and spear fishermen. Highly esteemed as food.

Credits

Picture: Bill Barss; Text: Peterson Field Guide to Pacific Coast Fishes, 1983.

Longspine Thornyhead Sebastolobus altivelis

Longspine Description

Red with some black on fins. Spiny ridge on sub-orbital bone. Third dorsal spine longest. Gill chamber mostly dark.

Size

To 39 cm (15 inches).

Range/Habitat

Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands to Baja California.

Depth

Deepwater species, 110 to 960 fm.

Remarks

Similar to larger shortspine thornyhead which has pink gill chamber and shorter 3rd dorsal spine.

Other common names

idiotfish, cat, hardhead, longspine channel rockfish

Credits

Picture: Bill Barss; Text: Bill Barss and Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Bulletin No. 25

Pacific (Chub) Mackerel Scomber japonicus

Pacific Mackerel

Pacific Mackerel

Description

Dorsal fins widely separated; 8-10 spines in 1st dorsal fin. Usually 5 dorsal and 5 anal finlets. A small, single-pointed skin flap between the pelvic fins. Body fully scaled; no corselet. About 30 irregular, nearly vertical bars along back, extending onto head. Greenish or bluish above; shading to silvery below, usually with dusky spots on lower side.

Size

To 64 cm (25 inches).

Range/Habitat

Alaska to Mexico; most abundant between Monterey Bay and S. Baja.

Depth

EPI to 100 fm.

Remarks

A very important commercial species-sold fresh, canned, smoked, and used as bait.

Credits

Picture: Bill Barss, ODFW
Text: Peterson Field Guide to Pacific Coast Fishes, 1983.

Pacific Cod Gadus macrocephalus

Pacific CodPacific Cod Description

Body elongate, caudal fin square-cut. 3 dorsal fins. Note the chin barbel (length about equal to eye diameter). 2 anal fins - 1st begins below front of 2nd dorsal fin. Brown to gray above, with brown spots or pale areas on back and side; lighter below. Fins somewhat dusky; dorsal, caudal, and anal fins usually white-edged.

Size

To 114 cm (45 inches).

Range/Habitat

Widely distributed in cooler regions of Pacific and adjacent seas; Japan to Bering Sea and to Santa Monica, California, but rare south of N. California.

Depth

Usually near bottom; wide-ranging 7-300 fm. Usually shallower in spring, deeper in fall.

Remarks

Of major commercial importance along the coast of N. Pacific; the most important trawl-caught bottom fish off B.C., where it is known as the Gray Cod. Marketed fresh and frozen, often as fish sticks.

Other common names

truecod, gray cod

Credits

Picture: Bill Barss, ODFW
Text: Peterson Field Guide to Pacific Coast Fishes, 1983.

Pacific Grenadier Coryphaenoides acrolepis

Pacific Grenadier Description

Tapered tail, no caudal fin. Snout pointed. 1st dorsal fin is short. 2nd dorsal fin ray spiny.

Size

To 87 cm (34 inches).

Range/Habitat

Bering Sea to Baja California

Depth

118 - 1400 fm.

Other common names

rattail

Credits

Picture: Bill Barss; Text: Peterson Field Guide to Pacific Coast Fishes, 1983.

Pacific Herring Clupea pallasii

Pacific Herring

Pacific Herring

Description

Bluish green to olive above, silvery below. Compressed, with no black spots on side. Last dorsal fin ray not elongate. Large scales, but no scales on fins, head or tail. No adipose fin. Pelvic fin under dorsal fin.

Size

To 46 cm. (18 in.).

Range/Habitat

Korea and Japan to Alaska to central California.

Depth

Frequently offshore, but usually inshore in harbors and large estuaries during spawning. In schools.

Remarks

Fished commercially from San Francisco northward. Eggs sometimes exported to Japan.

Credits

Picture: Bill Barss; Text: Peterson Field Guide to Pacific Coast Fishes.

Pacific Hake Merluccius productus

Pacific Hake

Pacific Hake

Description

Similar to cods, with an elongate body and square-cut caudal fin. 2nd dorsal fin and anal fin deeply notched. No chin barbel. Lower jaw projects slightly. Sharp teeth. Scales tiny and cycloid, frequently rubbed off during capture. Body soft. Silvery, with black speckles on back. Inside of mouth black.

Size

To 91 cm (36 inches).

Range/Habitat

Coast of Asia to Alaska and to S. Baja and Gulf of California.

Depth

Common at moderate depths. Near bottom or higher in water column to 500 fm. In schools.

Remarks

Occasionally caught while trolling for salmon. Flesh is soft. Filleted, headed and gutted and processed into surimi.

Other common names

hake, whiting, Pacific Hake

Credits

Text: Peterson Field Guide to Pacific Coast Fishes, 1983.

Red Irish Lord Hemilepidotus hemilepidotus

Red Irish Lord

Red Irish Lord

Description

Reddish, with brown, white and black mottling above; whitish below. 1st dorsal fin notched between 3rd and 4th spines. Scales on body in 2 main bands.

Size

To 51 cm. (20 in.).

Range/Habitat

Kamchatka to Monterey Bay.

Depth

Intertidal and to 25 fm.

Remarks

Often caught on baited hook; good eating.

Credits

Picture: ODFW; Text: Peterson Field Guide to Pacific Coast Fishes.

Redtail Surfperch Amphistichus rhodoterus

Redtail Surfperch

Redtail Surfperch

Description

All fins usually reddish. Reddish to brownish bars on side. Silvery overall with a pale olive tinge above. Dorsal spines much longer than dorsal soft rays.

Size

To 41 cm. (16 in.).

Range/Habitat

Vancouver Island to Monterey Bay, California.

Depth

Sandy beaches in surf on exposed coast, sometimes in bays and backwaters to 4 fm.

Remarks

An important sport fish caught in the surf.

Credits

Picture: Bill Barss, ODFW.
Text: Peterson Field Guide to Pacific Coast Fishes.

Rock Greenling Hexagrammos lagocephalus

Rock GreenlingRock Greenling

 

Description

A large cirrus above eye. Color varies: usually greenish to brown with darker mottling, but most fish usually have bright red blotches on sides. Two lines of red radiating backward down from eyes. Prominent dark spot above angle of operculum (gill cover). Inside of mouth usually bluish. Dark bars or blotches on fins.

Size

To 61 cm (24 inches).

Range/Habitat

Bering Sea, AK to Pt. Conception, CA.

Depth

Shallow rocky areas and kelp beds.

Remarks

Often caught by shore fishermen.

Other common names

Fringed greenling, red rock trout.

Credits

Picture: Nick Wilsman, ODFW.

Sablefish Anoplopoma fimbria

SablefishSablefish

 

Description

An elongate fish with 2 dorsal fins. Anal fin similar to and opposite 2nd dorsal fin. Scales small, weakly ctenoid. Adults are slaty black or greenish gray above; usually with slightly paler blotches or chainlike pattern on upper back; paler below. At 1-2 feet. (30-61 cm) often greenish, with faint stripes on back. Young under 6 in. (15 cm) are blue-black above; white below.

Size

To 102 cm( 40 inches), over 126 lb, but usually less than 76 cm (30 in.) and 25 lb.

Range/Habitat

Japan and Bering Sea to central Baja.

Depth

Wide-ranging often migratory. Adults on mud bottom at moderate depths - from 170 fm - 500 fm. to 1000 fm or deeper. Young in shallow water.

Remarks

An important commercial species caught in trawls and traps and on longlines.

Other common names

blackcod

Credits

Picture: Bill Barss, ODFW
Text: Peterson Field Guide to Pacific Coast Fishes, 1983.

Shortspine Thornyhead Sebastolobus alascanus

Shortspine Thornyhead Description

Bright red with some black on fins. 1 or 2 black dots on spinous dorsal fin. Large head and elongate body. Strong spiny ridge on head. Fifth dorsal spine longest. Gill chamber mostly pale.

Size

To 76 cm (30 inches).

Range/Habitat

Sea of Okhotsk, Bering Sea, and Aleutian Islands to Cedros Island, Baja California.

Depth

Deepwater species, 10 to 833 fm.

Remarks

A common species. It is primarily exported to Japan but some is marketed in the United States. Similar to the smaller Longspin thornyhead which has long 3rd dorsal fin spine and dark gill chamber.

Other common names

idiotfish, cat, hardhead, shortspine channel rockfish

Credits

Picture: Bill Barss, ODFW
Text: Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Bulletin No. 25

Wolf-Eel Anarrhichthys ocellatus

Wolf Eel Description An eel-like fish with stout canine teeth at front of mouth; molars at rear. No pelvic fins or lateral line. Dorsal fin long with flexible spines -- no soft rays. Mostly gray to brown, sometimes greenish. Round dark spots with pale rings on body and fins. Larger specimens more mottled. Young often orangish with dark areas merging into stripes at rear of body..
Size

To 203 cm (6 2/3 feet)

Range/Habitat

Sea of Japan and Aleutian Is. to Imperial Beach (so. Calif).
Adults live on bottom, usually among rocks in subtidal areas; often in dens.

Depth

To 123 fm (740 feet)

Remarks

Eats hard-shelled invertebrates and also fishes. Large specimens reportedly can be vicious and can inflict a painful bite. Eggs are laid in rocky protected areas and are guarded by both sexes.

Other common names

 

Credits

Picture: Bill Barss, ODFW
Text: Peterson Field Guide to Pacific Coast Fishes, 1983

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