Halibut, California

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The California halibut, also known as the California flounder or fluke,  is a large-tooth flounder native to the waters of the Pacific Coast of North America from the Quillavute River in Washington to Magdalena Bay in Baja California. A top-level predator that hunts by stealth, it is prized by fishermen as great table fare. It feeds near shore and is free swimming. It typically weighs 6 to 50 lbs.  It is much smaller than the larger and more northern-ranging Pacific halibut that can reach 300 lbs. Most flatfish are generally either right-eyed or left-eyed, but the California halibut is unusual in having a roughly even number of each type. Like other flatfish, the halibut hides under sand or loose gravel and blends into the bottom.

interesting fact

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 lies on its side. The adult has two eyes on the up-side as it lies on the bottom.


Other halibut.


Waters of the Pacific coast of North America from the Quillavute River in Washington to Magdalena Bay in Baja California.

harvest method/season

This species is longlined and is available year-round.


Mild white meat.


Firm texture.


California halibut is prepared batter fried, grilled, steamed, broiled, or sautéed.

quality control

From a cooking perspective, all halibut is firm, mild, and white. It lends itself to really any cooking method except slow, dry heat; the meat is too lean to stand up to that sort of thing.

market segments

This fish is appropriate for casual dining, fine dining, hotels, and resort/clubs.

nutritional facts

3.5 oz. (100g) raw edible portion

Calories 214; calories from fat 145; total fat 16.1; saturated fat 0g; cholesterol 0mg; sodium 0mg; carbohydrates 0g; protein 16.2g; potassium 0mg.



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