California Halibut

(spring - summer - fall)

Sometimes refered to as "flatty" or  southern halibut.

The Meat:

The trick with California halibut lies in not overcooking it! So mind that fork, and be sure to check it occasionally in the oven/broiler/grill. 

Prep:

California halibut will always arrive filleted.

Health concerns:

After salmon this is the most sought after commercial/recreational game fish in the Bay Area. Most halibut that arrive at the market place are dragged (trawled). Ever since the draggers were required by law to stay outside 3 miles there's been a lot more fish in close to shore that can be reached by small boats fishing hook and line. Pretty much all the halibut you will be getting from me will be caught by a fisherman who reeled it to the boat by hand.

Gear and fishery info:

After salmon this is the most sought after commercial/recreational game fish in the Bay Area. Most halibut that arrive at the market place are dragged (trawled). Ever since the draggers were required by law to stay outside 3 miles there's been a lot more fish in close to shore that can be reached by small boats fishing hook and line. Pretty much all the halibut you will be getting from me will be caught by a fisherman who reeled it to the boat by hand.

Fish Nerdism 101:

Although female halibut have been aged to 30 years (males to 23), some reach sexual maturity as young as 1 year old, and all by 3. So this is probably why their populations are able to bounce back from significant fishing pressure.

Parting Shots

Halibut are voracious predators (and like lingcod they have the teeth to prove it) and although they are designed to hunt from the sandy bottom of the Pacific Ocean, (like other flat fishes) they are often found travelling in the middle of the water column, pursuing schooling fishes like anchovies or sardines.

Facts:
  • Scientific Name:               Paralichthys californicus

 

  • Habitat:  benthic species that inhabit sandy bottoms to depths of 183 m. They congregate in the nearshore waters and embayments of California.  Juveniles grow up in shallow-water bays and estuaries, migrating to sandy areas along the coast as they grow.

 

  • Diet: anchovies, other small fishes, squid.

 

  • Size: It typically weighs 6 to 50 pounds.

 

  • Range:  native to the waters of the Pacific Coast of North America from the Quillayute River in Washington to Magdalena Bay in Baja California.  A separate population occurs in the upper Gulf of California.

 

2010 - present

2010 - present