About This Fish

Summer Flounder

The Summer Flounder (Paralichthys dentatus) is a marine flatfish which is also known as fluke, plaice fish, plaice, chicken halibut, brail, long-toothed flounder, flounder and common flounder. It belongs to the family Paralichthyidae under order Pleuronectiformes of Class Actinopterygii. It is found in the Atlantic Ocean off the East coast of the United States and Canada. It inhabits inshore areas during the warmer periods of the year. It prefers eel grass beds, wharf pilings, sandy and muddy bottoms. It migrates to more offshore waters in depths from 46 m to more than 150 m.

The summer flounder is deep bodied and extremely laterally compressed fish. The upper and lower profiles are almost identical in shape. The lateral line is arched over the pectoral fin. The mouth is large, oblique and has strong canine-like teeth. Numerous small and large pale spots are scattered over the background color. Both eyes are located on the top side of the head. Dorsal fin is long that stretches from the head to the tail. Dorsal fin contains 80 to 98 rays. Generally it is white below and darker above but it can turn various shades of gray, blue, green or orange and almost black. Caudal fin is slightly pointed. The juvenile feeds upon small shrimp and other crustaceans while adult takes a variety of fish including small winter flounder, menhaden, sand lance, red hake, silversides, bluefish, weakfish and mummichogs, as well as invertebrates such as blue crabs, squid, sand shrimp, opossum shrimp and molluscs. Both male and female become sexually mature at the age of 3 years. Peak spawning activity occurs from early September through early November. A female produces about 460,000 to 4,200,000 eggs in a season. It grows up to 94 cm in length and 12 kg in weight. It can live up to 9 years.

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Location Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
New Jersey