About This Fish

Winter Flounder

The winter flounder (Pseudopleuronectes americanus) is also known as Blackback Flounder, lemon sole, George’s Bank Flounder. It is a right-eyed flatfish in the family Pleuronectidae under order Pleuronectiformes of class Actinopterygii. It is native to coastal waters of the western north Atlantic coast, from Labrador, Canada to Georgia, United States. The winter flounder prefers sandy or muddy bottoms, and is sometimes found near eelgrass beds but can also be found on many other bottom types.

The winter flounder is a valuable commercially and recreationally fished flatfish. The winter flounder has a distinctive flat and oval shaped body with both eyes on the upper side. Adults vary in color from shades of dark brown to gray or olive green. It may have mottled blotches and light specks. Juveniles are lighter and have more spotting. The blind underside is white while the upperside is pigmented. The winter flounder has rough scales and a small mouth with thick, puckered lips and small rows of slightly rough flattened teeth. It has a proportionately broader caudal peduncle and tail. Mouth is small with thick and fleshy lips. Lateral line is nearly straight with a slight bow above pectoral fin. Dorsal fin contains 59-76 rays and anal fin with 44-58 rays while pectoral fin contains 10 or 11 rays. The dorsal profile of the head is less concave with blunt snout. It is omnivores and feeds on sand shrimp, amphipods, larval fish, mollusks, worms, and some types of seaweeds and plants. Spawning occurs in relatively shallow waters in the spring or early summer. It grows up to 64 cm in length and 3.6 kg in weight. It can live up to 15 years.

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