Atlantic Halibut

Atlantic Halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus) Family Pleuronectidae, Righteye flounders

Common names: halibut, giant halibut, righteye flounder

Description: Atlantic halibut are chocolate to olive or gray brown on their right (upper) side and white on their left (under) side. Larger individuals may have dark blotches on their underside. Atlantic halibut are right ­eyed flatfish, meaning both eyes are located on the dark colored, upper side of the fish. These fish have a compressed body, a lateral line that arches strongly above their pectoral fin and a concave shaped tail fin. Their large mouth is armed with sharp, curved teeth. Atlantic halibut can grow to enormous size making them the largest of all the flatfish. Individuals weighing from 600 to 700 pounds have been landed, although fish taken over 100 pounds are rare today.

Where found: inshore and offshore

Similar Gulf of Maine species: winter flounder

Remarks: Atlantic halibut are bottom dwellers, preferring a sand, gravel or clay covered substrate rather than one blanketed by soft mud or rock. Halibut, though slow to bite, are known to put up a strong fight and are excellent to eat.

Records: MSSAR (Maine State Saltwater Angler Records)
IGFA: All­-Tackle World Record

Fish Illustrations by: Roz Davis Designs, Damariscotta, ME (207) 563­2286

Drawings provided courtesy of the Maine Department of Marine Resources Recreational Fisheries program and the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund.

BACK TO: Maine Saltwater Fish Species List

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