Kelp Bass

Sea Basses: Family Serranidae Species: Paralabrax clathratus (Girard, 1854); from the Greek words para (near) and labrax (a European bass), and the Latin clathratus (latticed, referring to the coloring on the back). Kelp bass caught by Angel Hernandez at the Crystal Pier in San Diego…

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),…

Bat Ray

Eagle Rays: Family Myliobatididae Species: Myliobatis californica (Gill, 1865); from the Greek words myl (a tooth or molar), io (an arrow or poison), batis (a skate or ray) and the Latin word Californica (referring to location). Apparently called aetobatus californica at one time in California:…

Spotfin Croaker

Spotfin croaker caught by Angel Hernandez at the Crystal Pier in San Diego Croakers: Family Sciaenidae Species: Roncador stearnsii (Steindachner, 1876); from the Spanish word roncador (in reference to a snorer) and stearnsii (referring to Robert E. C. Stearns, a 19th Century sea shell expert…

California Corbina

Species: Menticirrhus undulates (Girard, 1854); from the Latin words menticirrhus (chin barbel) and undulatus (waved, referring to the wavy lines on its sides). Alternate Names: Whiting or California whiting, king croaker, corbie, corvina, bagre and the favorites of many—bean and beanie. In Mexico called berrugata…

Cabezon

Sculpins: Family Cottidae Species: Scorpaenichthys marmoratus (Ayres, 1854); from the Greek words scorpaena (a related species) and ichthys (fish), and the Latin word marmoratus (marbled). Cabezon from the Goeta Pier Alternate Names: Commonly called bullhead; also marbled sculpin, cab, cabby, bull cod, blue cod, giant…

Striped Seaperch

Surfperches/Seaperches: Family Embiotocidae Alternate Names: Striped surfperch, rainbow perch, blue perch, striped surf fish. Early-day names included squawfish and crugnoli. In Mexico called mojarra azul or perca. Identification: Striped seaperch have narrow orange and blue longitudinal stripes with blue spots on their head. Their dorsal…

Rubberlip Seaperch

Surfperches/Seaperches: Family Embiotocidae Species: Rhacochilus toxotes (Agassiz, 1854); from the Greek words rhacochilus (rag lip) and toxotes (pertaining to the East Indian archer fish, because of a presumed resemblance). Family Embiotocidae, subfamily Embiotocinae. Alternate Names: Buttermouth perch, porgee, sprat, or liverlip. In the 19th century…

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…