Arrowtooth flounder (Atheresthes stomias)

Category: Fish
Related species groups: Flatfish

Commonly caught off the Washington coast by commercial harvesters using otter-trawls and occasionally longline gear.

Description and Range

Physical description

This flounder is a right-eyed flatfish with the left eye visible from blind side. The eyed side tends to be uniformly dark grayish brown to olive brown; the blind side is light grey to dirty white. The scales are large, easily sloughed off, and generally darker at the edges. Body shape is an elongated diamond with a slightly crescent-shaped caudal fin. The dorsal fin originates at the middle of the eye. The lateral line runs nearly straight across the body with a slight curve over the pectoral fin lacking an accessory dorsal branch. Arrowtooth flounder have a very large mouth with two rows of sharp, arrow-shaped teeth absent any fang-like teeth on the roof of mouth. The species has a C-shaped preopercle and no anal spine.

Arrowtooth flounder can grow up to 86 cm (34 in) in length, and 7.7 kg (17 lbs) in weight. Maximum age is up to 27 years old.

Geographic range

Arrowtooth flounder are found from the eastern Bering Sea in the north to San Pedro, southern California in the south. This flatfish is common on soft bottoms and has been found in depths ranging from 18 to 732 m (59-2,401 ft). They are most common between 274 to 402 m (900-1,319 ft).

State record

WeightAnglerLocationDate Caught
6.65 lbs Richard Hale Marine Area 4, Clallam County August 15, 2022

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