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Pacific Halibut

Hippoglossus stenolepis

Other Game Fish Family

Saltwater Fish Identification

Pacific Halibut

Common Name(s):
Northern Halibut, Right Halibut, Alabato
Halibut are more elongated than most flatfishes, the width being about one-third the length. Small scales are imbedded in the skin. Halibut have both eyes on their dark or upper side. The color on the dark side varies but tends to assume the coloration of the ocean bottom. The underside is lighter, appearing more like the sky from below. This color adaptation allows halibut to avoid detection by both prey and predator.
Similar Fish:
Atlantic Halibut
Feeding Habits:
Being strong swimmers, halibut are able to eat a large variety of fishes (cod, turbot, pollock) plus some invertebrates such as crab and shrimp. Sometimes halibut leave the ocean bottom to feed on pelagic fish such as sand lance and herring.
The halibut is very abundant along the Pacific shores of Canada and ranges from Southern California to the Bering Sea, occurring from very shallow waters to up to 2000 feet deep.
Highly-adaptable, Pacific halibut will live (like most other halibut) in sandy or gravel bottom areas if there is plenty of baitfish available. Otherwise they can be found lingering near shelves and plateaus, waiting for prey to be washed-up by underwater
Typical Size:
The average largest length of the male is 4 feet 7 inches; the female, 8 feet 9 inches.
World Record:
459 pounds, 0 ounces (IGFA)