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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 Sanddab (Citharichthys sordidus)
Butter Sole (Isopsetta isolepis) Petrale Sole (Eopsetta jordani)
Curlfin Sole (Pleuronichthys decurrens) Rex Sole (Glyptocephalus zachirus)
Dover Sole (Microstomus pacificus) Rock Sole (Lepidopsetta bilineata)
English Sole (Parophrys vetulus) Sand Sole (Psettichthys melanostictus)
Flathead Sole (Hippoglossoides elassodon) Speckled Sanddab (Citharichthys stigmaeus)
Northern Rock Sole (Lepidopsetta polyxystra) Starry Flounder (Platichthys stellatus)
Pacific Halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis)  
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)
Deacon Rockfish (Sebastes diaconus) Tiger Rockfish (Sebastes nigrocinctus)
Greenstriped Rockfish (Sebastes elongatus) Vermillion Rockfish (Sebastes miniatus)
Hybrid Rockfish Widow Rockfish (Sebastes entomelas)
Longspine Thornyhead (Sebastolobus altivelis) Yelloweye Rockfish (Sebastes ruberrimus)
Pacific Ocean perch (Sebastes alutus) Yellowmouth Rockfish (Sebastes reedi)
Puget Sound Rockfish (Sebastes emphaeus) Yellowtail Rockfish (Sebastes flavidus)
Quillback Rockfish (Sebastes maliger)  
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)
Blue Shark (Prionace glauca) Salmon Shark (Lamna ditropis)
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)