California Halibut 7673081684 O
14Identifcation number on The Map®

California Halibut

Paralichthys californicus

California HalibutTracy Clark


  • Generally uniform shades of gray or brown, occasionally with some light mottling and spots
  • Can be right or left eyed, tail margin arched in middle with outer edges square cut
  • Mouth large, upper jaw extends past mid-eye


  • Uncommon to rare within safe diving limits southern California to Washington
  • To southern Baja including northern Gulf of California


  • Inhabit flat sandy, silty or mud bottoms
  • Rest on bottom, often partially or completely covered with soft bottom material


  • anchovies, small fishes, shrimp, octopi and squid

Interesting Facts

  • This is an unusual fish in that one eye has to migrate around from one side to the other as it grows from an upright fry or baby fish into an adult fish that lays on its side
  • The adult has two eyes on the up-side as it lays on the bottom
  • The fish hides under sand or loose gravel and blends into the bottom
  • both male and females may live to 30 years.