California Halibut

Lefteye Flounders: Family Bothidae Species: Paralichthys californicus (Ayres, 1859); from the Greek word paralichthys (parallel fish) and californicus (Californian)—a California fish that lies parallel to the bottom. Halibut taken by KJ at the Balboa Pier Alternate Names: Halibut, flounder, hali, flattie (or flatty), chicken halibut,…

Shovelnose Guitarfish

Guitarfishes: Family Rhinobatidae Species: Rhinobatos productus (Ayres, 1854); from the Latin word rhin (shark with a rough skin) and the Greek word batis (a ray or skate), and the Latin word product (a lengthened form, in reference to its long shape and form). Alternate Names:…

Yellowfin Croaker

Croakers: Family Sciaenidae Species: Umbrina roncador (Jordan & Gilbert, 1882); from the Greek word umbra (shade, referring to its darkened, shady sides) and the Spanish word roncador (a snorer, or to snore). It is, afterall, a croaker. Alternate Names: Surf fish, golden croaker, Catalina croaker,…

Barred Surfperch

Surfperches/Seaperches — Family Embiotocidae Species: Amphistichus argenteus (Agassiz, 1854); from the Greek word amphistichus (a double series, concerning the two rows of teeth in each jaw), and the Latin word argenteus (silvery). Family Embiotocidae, subfamily Amphistichinae. Alternate Names: Silver perch, barreds, sand perch, surfperch, and…

Giant Kelpfish

Kelpfishes and Fringeheads: Family Clinidae Species: Heterostichus rostratus (Girard, 1854); from the Greek words heter (different) and ost (extra bone), and the Latin word rostratus (beaked or hooked). Alternate Names: Kelpfish, eel, iodine fish, butterfish, and kelp blenny. Called sargacero gigante in Mexico. Identification: The…

Garibaldi

Damselfishes: Family Pomacentridae Species: Hypsypops rubicundus (Girard, 1854); from the Greek word hypsypops (high area below the eye) and the Latin word rubicunda (red). Alternate Names: Golden perch, ocean sunfish and ocean goldfish. In Mexico called jaqueta garibaldi. As for the name garibaldi, it apparently…

California Yellowtail

Jacks, Amberjacks and Pompanos: Family Carangidae Species: Seriola dorsalis (Valenciennes, 1833); from the Italian word seriola (for amberjack) and dorsalis (the long dorsal fin). Some sources now use Seriola lalandi. Yellowtail reported at 46-pounds caught at the Crystal Pier by Thomas Shinsato in 2015 Alternate…

Cortez Bonefish

Bonefish caught at the Balboa Pier Bonefishes: Family Albulidae Species: Albula gilberti (Pfeiler & Van der Heiden, 2011). Previously referred to as Albula vulpes and “Albula sp. A.” From the Latin Albula (meaning fox). Alternate Names: Bonefish, ladyfish, mullet, silver ghost, silver shuttle, sanducha and…

Common Thresher Shark

Thresher taken at the Goleta Pier by Big Red Thresher Sharks: Family Alopiidae Species: Alopias vulpinus (Bonnaterre, 1788); from the Greek word alopos and Latin word vulpes, (both meaning fox). Alternate Names: Thresher, blue thresher, longtail shark, swiveltail, fox shark, sea fox, fish shark, sea…

Sargo

Grunts: Family Haemulidae Species: Anisotremus davidsonii (Steindachner, 1876); from the Greek word anisotremus (unequal aperture, in reference to the pores on the chin), and davidsonii (for George Davidson, a 19th Century astronomer at the California Academy of Sciences). Alternate Names: China croaker, black croaker, blue…