Pacific Butterfish

Species: Peprilus simillimus (Ayres, 1860); from the Greek word pepricos (one of Hesychian’s unknown fish) and the Latin word simillimus (very similar, in reference to a similar Atlantic butterfish). Alternate Names: Pompano, California pompano, Pacific pompano and dollarfish. Called palometa plateada in Mexico. Identification: A…

California Lizardfish

Lizardfishes: Family Synodontidae Species: Synodus lucioceps (Ayres, 1855); from the Greek word synodus (the ancient name of a fish in which the teeth meet), and the Latin word lucioceps (pike head). Alternate Names: Gar, barracuda, candlefish. Called lagarto lucio or chile lucio in Mexico. Identification:…

White Sturgeon

Sturgeons: Family Acipenseridae Species: Acipenser transmontanus (Richardson, 1836); from the Latin words Acipenser (bony cartilage), trans (across), and montes (mountains). Alternate Names: Pacific sturgeon, Sacramento sturgeon, Oregon sturgeon and Columbia sturgeon. Called esturión blanco in Mexico. Identification: White sturgeon have a long, streamlined body with…

California Barracuda

Barracudas: Family Sphyraenidae Species: Sphyraena argentea (Girard, 1854); from the Greek word sphyraena (an ancient name meaning hammer fish) and the Latin word argenteum (silvery). Alternate Names: Pacific barracuda, cuda, barry, gar, fire hose, stove pipe, skinny, scooter, scoot, snake, slime, slimestick, pencil (small fish),…

Jacksmelt

Silversides: Family Atherinidae Species: Atherinopsis californiensis (Girard, 1854); from the Greek words ather (a spike or arrow) and ops (like), and californiensis (in reference to the geographic area). Alternate Names: Smelt, California smelt, horse smelt, blue smelt, silverside, pescado del rey, Peixe rey and Pesce…