Starry Flounder

Starry flounders range from Santa Barbara, California, to the Arctic Coast of Alaska. They make their homes over sand, mud and gravel bottoms in coastal ocean waters, bays, sloughs and even fresh water. Starry flounders typically reside in the ocean or in an estuary. When in freshwater they prefer low gradient rivers with sandy bottoms. Most often the result of strong ocean tidal currents carrying the fish into an estuary. Juvenile fish may push upstream during high flows to take advantage of greater food sources.

Starry Flounder are found along the Coast of California north to Alaska.

Starry flounders change their diet as they mature. Young flounders eat planktonic organisms by filtering the water as they move. Flounders eventually metamorphosize into a fish well suited for bottom life. The morphed starry flounder lies hidden in the sandy bottom and wait to grab prey passing overhead.

Starry Flounder dwell in the surf off sandy beaches and can be fished from the surf off jetties and in estuaries.

Their diet in saltwater includes mysid shrimp, harpactacoid copepods or amphipods. In freshwater they tend to feed on insect larvae.

Starry Flounder dorsal and anal fins have white to orange and black bands.

The starry flounder is broad, relatively short, somewhat diamond shaped and compressed. Their head is short with a very small mouth. The starry is a member of the right-eyed flounder family, but the majority of starry flounders are left-eyed. The color is dark brown on the eyed side with alternating white to orange and black bars on the dorsal and anal fins. The underbelly is white. Its name comes from the rough, star-like scales on its upper body.