Petrale Sole (Eopsetta jordani)


A member of the Pleuronectidae family of right-eyed flatfish, the petrale sole is an occasional catch by anglers and a good sportfish, in part owing to its moderate size. It is an excellent food fish and is highly sought commercially, primarily by trawlers, and is marketed fresh or as frozen fillets. The livers of large specimens are known to be rich in vitamin A.

Other Names

sole, round-nosed sole, Jordan's flounder, California sole, brill.

Identification

The body of the petrale sole is elongate, moderately slender, and compressed. The head is deep and the mouth large. The eyes are large, and the color on the eyed side is uniformly dark to light brown, with dusky blotches on the dorsal and the anal fins. It is white on the blind side.

The petrale sole is often confused with the California halibut because these species have a similar color and large mouths. The petrale sole, however, has an even, brown coloration and does not have a high arch in its lateral line.

Size

The average commercial catch is between 1 and 2 pounds, but this species can attain lengths to 28 inches and a weight of 8 pounds.

Food

The diet of petrale sole includes crabs, shrimp, and fish such as anchovies, hake, small rockfish, and other flatfish.

Distribution

The petrale sole ranges from the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands throughout the Gulf of Alaska to the Coronado Islands of northern Baja

Habitat

Petrale sole occur on sand and mud bottoms in waters from 60 to 1,500 feet deep, although they are most commonly found between 180 and 400 feet from April through October and deeper in winter. Anglers on party boats are likely to encounter them at such depths on sand bottoms near rocky reefs. California, Mexico.
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