Fishes Other Than Surfperches

Here I feature some fishes, other than surfperches, that I’ve caught in the surf zone, or found washed up on northern Oregon beaches. The common names and organization are more or less those of Love (1996) and Miller and Lea (1972).

Prionace glauca, blue shark,
This one washed ashore on December 8, 2019, on Samoa Beach, California. It looks to be bycatch.


Raja binoculata, big skate
The egg case is featured in Mermaids Purse.

Hydrolagus colliei, spotted ratfish


Clupea pallasi, Pacific herring
Age 1

Washed up dead on the sand

Sardinops sagax, Pacific sardine

Washed up dead on the sand, about 15 cm long

Alosa sapidissima, American shad

Washed up dead on the sand

Oncorhynchus kisutch, silver or coho salmon,

Washed up dead on the sand

Alepisaurus ferox, longnose lancetfish
This lancetfish is featured in Oceanic Predator Washes onto the Beach.

Three-spined stickleback, Gasterosteus, aculeatus The sticklebacks I come across are ones cast up onto the beach. They live in almost every coastal stream. Why do they end up in the surf? Threespine sticklebacks appear in Stranded Sticklebacks.

Greenling (juvenile), Hexagrammos 
The tow images below are the same fish, first when I encountered it cast up on the beach, then cleaned up and released into a sand-filled tide-pool. This juvenile Hexagrammos  appears in Stranded Greenling raises eternal question: To Assist or Not Assist?

Pacific staghorn sculpin, Leptocottus armatus

Ammodytes hexapterus, Pacific sand lance

The image below shows two sand lance in a sand-filled tidepool

The video below shows the same two sand lance swimming around, waiting for the turn of the tide.


Sand sole, Psettichthys melanostictus

Unidentified juvenile pleuronectid- I found this nearly transparent beach cast juvenile on the central Oregon coast, July 2018.

Nearly transparent, photo in a white ceramic finger bowl
About an inch long, this might be one of the right-eyed blokes, Pleuronectidae | juvenile sand sole?


Another unidentified pleuronectid- The suggestions I’ve gotten so far are starry flounder and maybe curlfin turbot. Do I hear any other suggestions? Just a few centimeters long, this is a beachcast fish.

Common mola, ocean sunfish, Mola mola

Mola mola


Love, M. 1996. Probably more than you want to know about the fishes of the Pacific coast. Really Big Press, Santa Barbara, California.

Miller, D. J. and R. N. Lea. 1972. Guide to the Coastal Marine Fishes of California. California Fish Bulletin Number 157. California Department of Fish and Game, Sacramento.

Note: This page was updated on August 14, 2021.


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