California Halibut

The California Halibut (Paralichthys californicus) is a species of flounder that is found from Bodega Bay, California to Magdalena Bay, Baja California. They are also found as far north as the Quillayute River, British Columbia and a separate population occurs in the upper Gulf of California. It is also known as the California Flounder.

This is a large-toothed fish weighs from 6 to 50 pounds. The body of the California halibut is oblong and compressed. The head is small and the mouth large. The color is dark brown to black on the eyed side and white on the blind side. Their numerous teeth, very large mouth and a high arch in the middle of the “top” side above the pectoral fin make them easily distinguishable from other flatfish.

This is an unusual fish in that one eye has to migrate around from one side to the other as it grows from an upright fry or baby fish into an adult fish that lays on its side. The adult has two eyes on the up-side as it lays on the bottom. The fish hides under sand or loose gravel and blends into the bottom.