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Real Good Fish | Fish Species | | Fish Species | Bringing you the freshest sustainably caught LOCAL seafood!
“If we eat from our own shores, we're much more inclined to protect them, the water quality, and our marine environment.”
- Paul Greenberg, American Catch
California Halibut / Paralichthys californicus

This bottom-dwelling flatfish is native to the waters off central and southern California, can weigh up to 50 pounds, and is loved by sport fishermen since it can occasionally be caught from shore or by kayak in shallow waters. It is actually more closely related to a flounder rather than the...

This bottom-dwelling flatfish is native to the waters off central and southern California, can weigh up to 50 pounds, and is loved by sport fishermen since it can occasionally be caught from shore or by kayak in shallow waters. It is actually more closely related to a flounder rather than the Pacific halibut which resides in waters farther north along the west coast. California halibut is caught year-round, but it is most commonly landed in the summer and early fall.

Culinary Tips: There is no wrong way to prepare California halibut. It is delicate enough steam or shallow poach, but is also one of the only flatfish robust enough to handle the grill too. It can also be prepared raw for any recipe calling for fluke, flounder or the Japanese translation - "hirame".

Catch Method: Trolling Lines and Bottom Trawling

Sustainability: Landings of California halibut have stayed consistent in recent years which indicates that populations are not being depleted. The catch methods do not generate significant amounts of bycatch, and the management by the California Department of Fish and Game is effective and keeps fishermen accountable.

>MBA Seafood Watch Rating: Best Choice or Good Alternative

>NOAA Fish Stock Sustainability Index: N/A

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King Salmon / Oncorhynchus tshawytscha

Also known as Chinook salmon, the King Salmon is the largest salmon species in the Pacific. They are popular in the kitchen of course, but they are also a highly sought after sport fish on the west coast and in Alaska each summer.

Like all salmon species king salmon are anadromous, meaning they...

Also known as Chinook salmon, the King Salmon is the largest salmon species in the Pacific. They are popular in the kitchen of course, but they are also a highly sought after sport fish on the west coast and in Alaska each summer.

Like all salmon species king salmon are anadromous, meaning they are born in fresh water, migrate to salt water to live most of their lives, then they return to their natal stream to spawn and die. Each spring this annual king salmon return begins in California, running through to mid-summer. The commerical king salmon season begins and ends with this migration.

In the early 2000s king salmon populations had declined significantly, but by 2010 they had rebounded, in some cases growing at rates of 150%. Culturally, the Chinook has special meaning to Native American tribes, with many tribes celebrating “First Salmon” ceremonies. 

Culinary Tips: King salmon is the richest most decadent species of Pacific salmon and can be cooked any way you can imagine. It is fanstatic prepared on a cedar plank on the grill, roasted with seasonal vegetables in the oven, or even smoked or cured.

Catch Method: Troll

Sustainability: Some salmon populations along the California coast are endangered or threatened, so the chinook salmon that is allowed to be caught is highly monitored and done so as sustainably as possible. Troll gear is extremely selective and produces very little bycatch and no harm to the marine habitat.

>MBA Seafood Watch Rating: Good Alternative

>NOAA Fish Stock Sustainability Index: 2 out of 4 for some rivers, N/A for other rivers

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Lingcod / Ophiodon elongatus

Prior to cooking, the lingcod’s flesh can be either blue or green. Not all are, though. And after cooking, they'll turn white.

Nicknamed buckethead, the lingcod is native to the North American Pacific coast and is neither ling nor cod, but its name originated because it somewhat resembles those...

Prior to cooking, the lingcod’s flesh can be either blue or green. Not all are, though. And after cooking, they'll turn white.

Nicknamed buckethead, the lingcod is native to the North American Pacific coast and is neither ling nor cod, but its name originated because it somewhat resembles those fish. Newborns live near the surface, juveniles prefer sandy bottoms and kelp beds, and young adults settle in rocky habitats or kelp beds, where food is more abundant.

Lingcod fillets are can be surprising on first glance since sometimes they can be bright blue or green. Aside from their unusual coloration, lingcod support a popular sport fishery on the west coast.

Culinary Tips: Lingcod is a lean, white fleshed fish that has a mild flavor and cooks to a medium-firm texture with a nice flake. It can be substituted for any recipe calling for rockfish or halibut.

Catch Method: Hook and line and bottom trawl

Sustainability: Biomass off the US West Coast is high. They have very high reproduction rates. Lingcod are caught with gear that have little impact on habitats and very low accidental catch. Management is strong, with seasonal closures during spawning season. 

>MBA Seafood Watch Rating: Best Choice and Good Alternative 

>NOAA Fish Stock Sustainability Index: 4 out of 4

 

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Pacific Bonito / Sarda chiliensis

Pacific Bonito are a small tuna, from the same family as albacore (Scombridae). They have beautiful dark blue coloring on top that fades to silver on their underbelly, and are easily identified by dark slanted bands along their sides. Fast growing, Pacific bonito often weigh 3 pounds within a...

Pacific Bonito are a small tuna, from the same family as albacore (Scombridae). They have beautiful dark blue coloring on top that fades to silver on their underbelly, and are easily identified by dark slanted bands along their sides. Fast growing, Pacific bonito often weigh 3 pounds within a year of hatching. Their rapid growth and extremely efficient body shape give them speed and strength, which makes them popular among fishermen.

Bonito prefer warmer waters, and are primarily found between Baja California and Point Conception (Santa Barbara). However because they follow warm water currents as they hunt for small fish, they are found discontinuously from Chile all the way to Alaska. 

Pacific Bonito are usually caught south of Point Conception, and the season typically winds down in early fall, but during warmer months or El Niño weather events, they can be readily caught in the waters of Monterey Bay even later in the year. Fish usually weigh between 3 and 12 pounds, with the largest recorded weighing in at 25 pounds. 

Size: Up to 3.5 feet and 25 lbs

Distribution: Found from the surface to depths of 600 feet, mainly in the upper portion of the water column.

How fished: Longline and trolling

Why sustainable: Pacific Bonito are a highly migratory species, and reproduce rapidly and frequently throughout their range. They are managed at the state, national, and international levels. Bycatch in the fishery is relatively low.

MBA Seafood Watch rating: Not Assessed

Nutrition Facts

100 grams or 3.5 oz
Calories 153
Protein (g) 25
Fat (g) 6
Saturated fat (g) 1.6
Sodium (mg) 40
Cholesterol (mg) 45
Potassium (mg) 330

 

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Rockfish / Genus Sebastes and Sebastolobus

There are more than seventy rockfish species native to the Pacific coast of the U.S. and we offer, but are not limited to, the following species: Chilipepper Rockfish, Black Rockfish, Boccaccio Rockfish, Splitnose Rockfish, Vermillion Rockfish, Gopher Rockfish. "Rock Cod" or "Pacific Snapper"...

There are more than seventy rockfish species native to the Pacific coast of the U.S. and we offer, but are not limited to, the following species: Chilipepper Rockfish, Black Rockfish, Boccaccio Rockfish, Splitnose Rockfish, Vermillion Rockfish, Gopher Rockfish. "Rock Cod" or "Pacific Snapper" are other local nicknames for rockfish species. The southern half of the California coast has the most rockfish diversity anywhere, with at least 56 different species known. 

Rockfish earned their name because they are bottom-dwelling species that prefer rocky areas. Fish species in this genus have some of the longest lifespans of any fish on earth, and some have been recorded to live up to 205 years. These long life-spans made it difficult for some species to absorb industrial fishing pressures that peaked in the 1980's and '90's, and many rockfish species became overfished. Today though, Pacific groundfish populations like rockfish have largely recovered due to strict management and responsible fishermen.

Culinary Tips: All rockfish species have a mild flavor, cook to a medium firmness, and flake nicely. Larger fillets can be dredged in flour and pan fried, while smaller rockfish are delicous cooked whole. Rockfish is also delicous served raw in a ceviche.

Catch Method: Bottom and midwater trawls, rod and reel, and traps

Sustainability: Rockfish fisheries are highly regulated under both state and federal laws. In federal waters, the rockfish trawl fishery is part of the Catch Shares program, with 100% observer coverage. Hook and line caught rockfish has very low bycatch rates. A growing number of Pacific rockfish fisheries on the west coast are becoming Marine Stewardship Council certified for sustainability

>MBA Seafood Watch Rating: Good Alternative and Best Choice

>NOAA Fish Stock Sustainability Index: 2.5 - 4 out of 4

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Starry Flounder / Platichthys stellatus

Along the coast of California, half the population of starry flounder is right-eyed and the other half is left-eyed. Also known as the California flounder, they spawn near river mouths and sloughs. Juveniles are found only in estuaries, and while adults can be found in ocean waters 1,200 feet...

Along the coast of California, half the population of starry flounder is right-eyed and the other half is left-eyed. Also known as the California flounder, they spawn near river mouths and sloughs. Juveniles are found only in estuaries, and while adults can be found in ocean waters 1,200 feet deep, they are estuary-dependent for reproduction. Much like chameleons and other species, they can change coloration to blend in with their surroundings, making them practically invisible to avoid predators. Yet they succumb to the appetites of marine mammals such as sea lions and seals. They feed primarily on zooplankton, small fish and crustaceans, amphipods, and copepods.

They are abundant in California's central coast area, mostly due to the many rivers, sloughs, and estuaries, such as the Santa Ynez River and Elkhorn Slough.

Lifespan: Up to 42 years

Size: Up to 3 feet and 11 lbs

Distribution: Found on soft bottoms up to 1,230 feet deep

How fished: Trawling and longline

Why sustainable: Starry flounder biomass has been increasing since 1997. This species is not in high demand commercially and therefore fishing pressure is low.

MBA Seafood Watch Rating: Good Alternative

NOAA FishWatch Rating: Not overfished

Nutrition (per 100g): Calories 91, Total Fat 1.19 g, Cholesterol 48mg, Omega-3 0.2g, Selenium 32.7mcg, Sodium 81mg, Protein 18.84g

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White Seabass / Atractoscion nobilis

The white seabass, also known as white weakfish or king croaker, is not a seabass at all. It is a member of the croaker family, and it is the largest croaker in the Pacific Ocean. This fish has been known to exceed 20 pounds (only in California), with the largest recorded specimen reaching over...

The white seabass, also known as white weakfish or king croaker, is not a seabass at all. It is a member of the croaker family, and it is the largest croaker in the Pacific Ocean. This fish has been known to exceed 20 pounds (only in California), with the largest recorded specimen reaching over 5 feet long and 93.1 pounds. They feed primarily on anchovies, sardines, and squid. Some adults have been found to have eaten nothing but Pacific mackerel, a strong tasting fish often used in sushi.

The white seabass fishery in California is subject to strong regulations, allowing the fish to reach a minimum of 28 inches in length and about 7.5 pounds in weight. This regulation allows the fish to reach maturity (about five years), so they can spawn before being caught.

Lifespan: Up to 20 years

Size: Average is 28” and 7.5 lbs

Distribution: Found in rocky and algal bottoms, 1 to 125 meters deep in nearshore bays and estuaries

How fished: Trolling or rod and reel

Why sustainable: The white sea bass population has recovered from heavier fishing pressure in the past. Today the population along the central coast of California and in Monterey Bay is believed to be healthy. When caught with hook and line, bycatch is very low.

MBA Seafood Watch Rating: Best Choice

NOAA FishWatch Rating: Not rated

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