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Bottomfish Identification

This identification guide is intended to provide information and key characteristics for common bottomfish species in Washington’s marine waters. For information pertaining to all fish within a category, click on the category heading below, or in the left hand column.   To access species information click on the common names below. 

For each species, information is available on key characteristics, expected sizes, typical distribution, and published ages.

Cod Fishes
Pacific Cod (Gadus macrocephalus) Pacific Tomcod (Microgadus proximus)
Pacific Hake (Merluccius productus) Walleye Pollock (Gadus chalcogrammus)
Arrowtooth Flounder (Atheresthes stomias) Pacific Halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis)
Butter Sole (Isopsetta isolepis) Pacific Sanddab (Citharichthys sordidus)
Curlfin Sole (Pleuronichthys decurrens) Petrale Sole (Eopsetta jordani)
Dover Sole (Microstomus pacificus) Rex Sole (Glyptocephalus zachirus)
English Sole (Parophrys vetulus) Rock Sole (Lepidopsetta bilineata)
Flathead Sole (Hippoglossoides elassodon) Sand Sole (Psettichthys melanostictus)
Northern Rock Sole (Lepidopsetta polyxystra) Starry Flounder (Platichthys stellatus)
Kelp Greenling (Hexagrammos decagrammus) Rock Greenling (Hexagrammos lagocephalus)
Lingcod (Ophiodon elongatus) Whitespotted Greenling (Hexagrammos stelleri)
Painted Greenling (Oxylebius pictus)
Pile Perch (Rhacochilus vacca) Shiner Perch (Cymatogaster aggregata)
Redtail Surfperch (Amphistichus rhodoterus) Striped Surfperch (Embiotoca lateralis)
Aurora Rockfish (Sebastes aurora) Redbanded Rockfish (Sebastes babcocki)
Black Rockfish (Sebastes melanops) Redstripe Rockfish (Sebastes proriger)
Blackgill Rockfish (Sebastes melanostomus) Rosethorn Rockfish (Sebastes helvomaculatus)
Blue Rockfish (Sebastes mystinus) Rougheye Rockfish (Sebastes aleutianus)
Bocaccio Rockfish (Sebastes paucispinis) Sharpchin Rockfish (Sebastes zacentrus)
Brown Rockfish (Sebastes auriculatus) Shortbelly Rockfish (Sebastes jordani)
Canary Rockfish (Sebastes pinniger) Shortraker Rockfish (Sebastes borealis)
China Rockfish (Sebastes nebulosus) Shortspine Thornyhead (Sebastolobus alascanus)
Copper Rockfish (Sebastes caurinus) Silvergray Rockfish (Sebastes brevispinis)
Darkblotched Rockfish (Sebastes crameri) Splitnose Rockfish (Sebastes diploproa)
Greenstriped Rockfish (Sebastes elongatus) Tiger Rockfish (Sebastes nigrocinctus)
Hybrid Rockfish Vermillion Rockfish (Sebastes miniatus)
Longspine Thornyhead (Sebastolobus altivelis) Widow Rockfish (Sebastes entomelas)
Pacific Ocean perch (Sebastes alutus) Yelloweye Rockfish (Sebastes ruberrimus)
Puget Sound Rockfish (Sebastes emphaeus) Yellowmouth Rockfish (Sebastes reedi)
Quillback Rockfish (Sebastes maliger) Yellowtail Rockfish (Sebastes flavidus)
Brown Irish Lord (Hemilepidotus spinosus) Great Sculpin (Myoxocephalus polyacanthocephalus)
Buffalo Sculpin (Enophrys bison) Red Irish Lord (Hemilepidotus hemilepidotus)
Cabezon (Scorpaenichthys marmoratus)
Sharks, Skates and Ratfishes
Big Skate (Raja binoculata) Longnose Skate (Raja rhina)
Bluntnose Sixgill Shark (Hexanchus griseus) Sandpaper Skate (Bathyraja kincaidii)
Broadnose Sevengill Shark (Notorynchus cepedianus) Soupfin (Galeorhinus galeus)
Brown  Catshark (Apristurus brunneus) Spiny Dogfish (Squalus suckleyi)
California Skate (Raja inornata) Spotted Ratfish (Hydrolagus colliei)
Common Thresher Shark (Alopias vulpinus)  
Wrymouths and Wolf Eel
Dwarf Wrymouth (Cryptacanthodes aleutensis) Wolf Eel (Anarrhichthys ocellatus)
Giant Wrymouth (Cryptacanthodes giganteus)
Other Bottomfish
Plainfin Midshipman (Porichthys notatus) Sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria)
Red Brotula (Brosmophycis marginata)