ROCK SOLE

How to identify a Rock Sole

A right-eyed flatfish with a thick oval to round body shape with rough scales. The eyed side is gray to olive to dark brown or black and is mottled with lighter or darker shades, sometimes spotted with yellow or red. The blind side is light in color, but rarely white.  Dorsal and anal fins have dark blotches or bars on them and may be yellowish near the tail. The caudal fin is rounded or in the shape of a broad V. This species has a lateral line with a high arch and a flat top, and a short accessory dorsal branch.  Rock sole have a small mouth with fleshy lips and teeth that are more developed on the blind side.  The maxillary extends below the anterior edge of the lower eye. The eyes are small.  This species has a strong anal spine.  This flatfish is similar to butter sole, which has a low lateral line arch and a longer accessory dorsal branch, but the edged of the dorsal and anal fins are not bright yellow.

Where to catch Rock Sole

Rock sole are found in the Seas of Japan and Okhotsk, and from the Bering Strait south to Tanner Bank off southern California. They inhabit rocky, pebbly, or sandy bottoms from 0 to 576 m (1,900 ft). They tend to be most abundant between 36 and 73 m (118-240 ft).

IDENTIFICATION

How to Identify a Rock Sole
 1Small eyes are close to each other on the right side of the body and has a small mouth with very small flat, incisor-like teeth
 2The eyed side is gray to olive to dark brown or black and is mottled with lighter or darker shades, sometimes spotted with yellow or red
 3The caudal fin is rounded or in the shape of a broad V

TARGET AREAS

  • Bays
  • Channel Entrances
  • Bays and Estuaries
  • Man-Made Structures

Acknowledgements:  We thank TAKEMEFISHING.org (www.takemefishing.org), Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Indiana Department of Natural Resources for their contributions to these FISH FACTS.

Acknowledgements:  We thank TAKEMEFISHING.org (www.takemefishing.org), Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for their contributions to these FISH FACTS.

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