The Oregon Seal Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife mobile
  
ignore
 »ODFW Home    » Fish Division   » Marine Resources   » Marine Sport Fish ID
ignore
ignore
ignore
About Us Fishing Hunting Viewing License/Regs Conservation Living With Wildlife Education
ignore
ignore
Fish MARINE RESOURCES
Commercial and recreational marine fisheries
ignore

Marine Sport Fish Identification Key

Billfish | Flatfish | Rockfish | Salmon and Trout Species | Sharks, Rays, and Skates | Surfperch Species | Tunas and Mackerel | Miscellaneous Marine Species | "Baitfish" Guide

This guide is intended to provide identification of the marine fish species that are most likely to be caught by recreational anglers in the ocean off of Oregon. this guide is designed primarily for the ocean boat fishery, and shore based anglers will find that the rankings as to frequency of catch are not necessarily consistent with what is encountered in the shore based fishery. Although this guide has attempted to cover any possible species based on the history of the fishery, other species do occasionally show up in the catch, and questionable species should be examined further using a more comprehensive guide for positive identification.

The guide is arranged loosely similar to a dichotomous key. On this starting page shortcuts have been provided to major groupings of fish species that are easily recognized.

In order for a dichotomous key to function properly, you MUST review the characteristics at each step in the key. At each step you MUST look at all of the choices (i.e. 5.a. and 5.b.) and choose the description that is most appropriate. At the end of each description, you will be either directed to go to another step (i.e. "go to 3") or given the name of a species. Compare this to the species you are identifying and if needed cross reference this in a field guide. Keep in mind that if you skip a step, you are likely to end up with the incorrect species.

For each species, a notation is made as to the maximum expected size, and the species is assigned a ranking as to the frequency it is likely to show up in the ocean recreational boat fishery off Oregon (refer to the glossary for clarification on those rankings). For many of the species, a picture is available. For those species with a photo, clicking on the name of the species will open a new window with the picture. Keep in mind that different computers and their monitors may display colors quite differently.

Click on a species group header to go to that page:

Salmon

Salmonids

Salmon and trout species. Have adipose fin (clipped in many hatchery fish).

Silver in overall appearance in ocean phase. Single short, soft rayed dorsal fin.

Tuna

Tuna and Mackerel

Series of finlets ahead of tail on both dorsal and ventral surfaces.

Tail wrist very narrow. Body "bullet" shaped.

Rockfish

Rockfish

Variety of colors and sizes. Strong spines in first dorsal fin.
Large scales.

Spines on head. Large mouth. "Bass-like" in overall appearance.

Billfish


Billfish

Extremely elongate and pointed rigid upper jaw.

Flatfish

Flatfish

Both eyes on one side of the head. Have distinct rayed fins.

Perch



Surf Perch

Compressed laterally, spinous first dorsal fin, small mouths.

Shark

Sharks, Rays, and Skates

Generally very rough skin. Several gill slits.

Fins without distinct fin rays.

Rays and skates very compressed on dorsal surface

Pacific Hake Other Species Not Included Above
Skate Pomfret

Back to top

Contact:

Eric Schindler
E-mail: Eric.D.Schindler@state.or.us
Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife
2040 SE Marine Science Drive
Newport, Oregon 97365
(541) 867-4741

ignore
ignore
 


About Us | Fishing | Hunting | Wildlife Viewing | License / Regs | Conservation | Living with Wildlife | ODFW Outdoors

ODFW Home | Driving Directions | Employee Directory | Social Media | Oregon.gov | File Formats

4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE   ::   Salem, OR 97302   ::    Main Phone (503) 947-6000 or (800) 720-ODFW [6339]

Do you have a question or comment for ODFW? Contact ODFW's Public Service Representative at: odfw.info@state.or.us
Do you want to enter your opinion about a specific issue into the public record? Contact
: odfw.comments@state.or.us





   © ODFW. All rights reserved. This page was last updated: 04/24/2013 11:58 AM