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So, this is Hallie, the Halibut

Common Name: Pacific Halibut

 

Image Credit: Kevin Lee/Divebums.com

Scientific name: Hippoglossus slenolepis

So, this is Hallie!

Don’t let the pic fool you, Hallie is a fierce and confident 25 year old female, who measures about 80 inches long and weighs almost 300 pounds!   Halibut can reach upwards of 500lbs, and can live more than 50 years!

Gender is not always externally obvious in halibut, so the only real way to tell is to examine the inside to look for ovaries or testes.   However, one major difference between male and female halibut, and one that would give Hallie away as a female, is their size.   Female halibut grow much faster, and get much bigger than males, who rarely weigh above 100 pounds!

Halibut enjoy different sexual partners each year, and females reproduce annually after about the age of 11.   Males can reproduce earlier in life, for some at about 8 years old.   Once a female is ready to reproduce, she can lay as many as 4 million eggs a year!

Halibut are top predators, eating essentially anything that gets in their way, and can fit into their mouths.   For a mature halibut, like Hallie, favorites include various finfish, octopus, crabs, clams and even smaller halibut!

Halibut are not, however, at the very top of the food chain.   Their predators include lings, salmon sharks, orcas, sea lions and especially humans!   Halibut is a favorite for humans because of its mild taste, firm texture and its meat’s appealing appearance.

Image Credit: Bleacher Report/Michael Clancy

Hallie likes to hang out near the ocean bottom, preferably above sand, mud or gravel bars.   The tops of their bodies are dark colored, and the underside is white, both of which serve as camouflage and aid in hunting.   Here is a link to a video of beautiful halibut, just like Hallie.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ty9f5_pxMas

She spawns between November and March typically at a depth of between about 600 to 1500 feet.   The eggs are deposited into deep ocean currents where they drift until they eventually move up and into coastal waters to mature.   During the rest of the year Hallie, and other halibut prefer to be closer to shore, in shallower water.   Halibut migrate in a clockwise motion along the pacific coasts, reaching as far north as Nome, Alaska, as far south as California and as far west as China!

Pacific halibut range.PNG

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Sources:

https://alaska-halibut-fishing-charters.com/halibut_biology.html

https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Fishing/Ocean/Fish-ID/Sportfish/Flatfishes#pachalibut

 

Image 1: https://www.divebums.com/week/Aug22-2005/index.html

Image 2: https://www.wideopenspaces.com/alaskan-halibut-bigger-guy-caught-pics/

Image 3: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_halibut