top of page


PACIFIC MACKEREL (Scomber japonicus)
Pacific mackerel grow fast, up to 25 inches and more than 6 pounds. They can live up to 18 years but are able to reproduce by age 4, and sometimes as early as age 1. They spawn at different times of the year, depending on where they live. Pacific mackerel spawn from late April to September off California. Pacific mackerel feed on plankton (tiny floating plants and animals) and the younger stages of all the pelagic species such as anchovies and sardines, as well as their own young. Various larger fish (E.G. Sharks and Tunas), marine mammals, and seabirds eat Pacific mackerel. Pacific mackerel school as a defense against predators. Often they will school with other pelagic species such as jack mackerel and sardines. Pacific mackerel live within 20 miles of shore in water ranging from 50˚ to 72˚ F. When the population is small, they tend to occupy only the warmer part of their habitat.

PACIFIC COD (Gadus macrochephalus)
Pacific cod can live up to 20 years and may grow up to 6 feet in length. Females reach sex maturity around the 4th year of age when they are between 1.5 and 2 feet long. Spawning  season goes from January to May on the continental shelf edge and upper slope in waters between 330 to 820 feet. Females can produce more than 1 million eggs when they spawn. Pacific cod school together and move seasonally from deep outer and upper continental shelf areas (where they spawn) to shallow middle-upper continental shelf feeding grounds. They feed on clams, worms, crabs, shrimp, and juvenile fish. 
LINGCOD (Ophiodon elongatus)
Lingcod grow quickly, up to 5 feet and 80 pounds, and can live more than 20 years. In late fall, male lingcod gather and become territorial over areas suitable for spawning, usually shallow, rocky habitats. Mature females are rarely seen at these spawning grounds. Scientists believe that the females briefly visit these spawning areas during winter and spring and only stay long enough to deposit their eggs in crevices and under ledges. Males guard the nests for 8 to 10 weeks until the eggs hatch. The presence of a male to guard the nest from predators appears essential for successful spawning. Adults are aggressive predators and feed primarily on bottom-dwelling fish (including smaller lingcod), squid, octopi, and crab. Marine mammals and sharks prey on juvenile and adult lingcod. 
PACIFIC HALIBUT (Hippoglossus stenolepis)
Pacific halibut is the largest species of flatfish. It is native to the North Pacific Ocean and it is fished by commercial, recreational, and subsistence fishermen. Huge Pacific halibut, sometimes called "barn doors," can attain a length of more than 8 feet and a width of more than 5 feet. Halibut are born swimming like salmon, with eyes on either side of their head. As they grow (by the time they are 6 months old), one eye migrates to the right side and the young halibut begin swimming sideways, with both eyes on the top of their bodies. Their large size and delectable meat make them a popular and prized target for both sport and commercial fishermen.
CANARY ROCKFISH (Sebastes pinniger)
Canary rockfish have been an important commercial species since at least the early 1880s, with fisheries off San Francisco, California and Washington state. They are caught in trawling and hook and line operations, along with a variety of other fish such as yellowtail, lingcod, and other rockfishes. The population on the U.S. West Coast was declared overfished in 2000 and a recovery plan was implemented in 2001. This stock was declared rebuilt in 2015.U.S. wild-caught canary rockfish is a smart seafood choice because it is sustainably managed and responsibly harvested under U.S. regulations.
WHITE SEABASS (Atractoscion nobilis)
White seabass  is a species of croaker occurring from Magdalena Bay, Baja California, to Juneau, Alaska. They usually travel in schools over deep rocky bottoms (0–122 m) and in and out of kelp beds. The white seabass is closely related to the California corbina, but is the only California member of the croaker family to exceed 20 pounds in weight. Adults prey on Pacific mackerel, Pacific anchovies, Pacific herring, Pacific sardines, market squid and pelagic red crabs. There are few predators of the white seabass, but they include other fish, sharks, sea lions, and humans. Peculiar trait of this species is the production of croaking sounds generated by hitting the abdominal muscle against the swim bladder.
Pacific salmon and steelhead have a dynamic life cycle that includes time in fresh and saltwater habitats. These fish are born in freshwater streams and rivers, migrate to coastal estuaries, then enter the ocean where they mature. They usually return as adults to the same streams where they were born to spawn and begin the cycle again.
NOAA Fisheries manages and protects several species of fish in the Salmonidae family in both the Atlantic and Pacific. Some are threatened or endangered and protected under the Endangered Species Act. Others are targeted by commercial and recreational fisheries and are managed under the Magnuson-Stevens Act to maintain healthy, sustainable population levels. Pacific salmon and steelhead include the following species: Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), Chum Salmon (Oncorhynchus keta), Coho Salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch), Sockeye Salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka), Pink Salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha), Steelhead Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).
For more informations about the Fishes of California please visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Marine Species Portal

bottom of page