Ocean fish species California

Round StingrayFamily: Myliobatidae (Eagle rays)

Genus and Species: Myliobatis californica

Description: The bat ray has a distinct head that is elevated above the disk. The tail is whip-like and as long or longer than the width of the disk with the sting located just behind the body. The color is dark brown to dark olive or almost black above and white below. This species can be distinguished from manta rays or mobulas (that rarely occur off California) by the absence of the arm-like projections manta rays and mobulas have on their heads. Young are 8-12 inches disc width (wing span) at birth, with a maximum disc width of 6 feet.

Range: Bat rays are found from the Gulf of California to Oregon, from surface waters to depths of 150 feet.

Natural History: Bat rays feed chiefly upon mollusks and crustaceans. In bays and sloughs they feed heavily upon clams, oysters, shrimp and crabs. On the open coast they eat abalones and various other snails. When feeding, they swim along the bottom until they encounter currents of water expelled from the siphons of clams. They dig clams by suction created by flapping their wings. The shell of the ingested clam is crushed by their millstone like jaw teeth. Mating takes place during the summer months and the young are born alive, apparently the following summer, when they are 12 to 14 inches in width and weigh about 2 pounds. The young are always born tail-first with their wings rolled up over the body. They come equipped with a stinger and can cause severe painful wounds. Females apparently weigh at least 50 pounds and males 10 pounds before they are mature. Females of 50 to 60 pounds usually have two to four young; whereas, females of 130 to 140 pounds may have 10 or 12 young.

Fishing Information: Most sportfishing for bat rays takes place in protected bays and estuaries. Although bat rays may be taken in the open ocean, anglers prefer to catch them in sheltered waters. Heavy tackle is recommended since anglers often encounter large rays. Favorite baits include shrimp, clams, crabs or even cut mackerel.

Other Common Names: sting ray, eagle ray, batfish, stingaree, bat sting ray.

Largest Recorded: Maximum disc width 4 feet, 9 inches. Largest taken off California by a recreational angler: 181 pounds, no width.

Habitat: Shallow Sandy Environment

(Click to view larger image)

Family: Dasyatididae (Stingrays)

Genus and Species: Urolophus halleri

Description: The disk of the round stingray is nearly circular. The back of this species is brown, often mottled or spotted, and the underside is white to orange. The round stingray is one of six rays found in California waters which have a stinger on the tail. It can be distinguished from the others since it is the only one with a true tail fin. The others have either a whip-like tail or very short tail with no fin membrane.

About time they cracked down on this

2006-06-30 22:51:06 by needsomecoffee

17 Alleged Sturgeon, Abalone Poachers Hauled In
By Gary Polakovic, Times Staff Writer
June 30, 2006
In a sweeping crackdown on poachers, state game wardens arrested 17 people Thursday across California on suspicion of illegally catching endangered fish and shellfish and selling some to restaurants.
Dozens of agents in California and Oregon targeted three operations in the Bay Area and Sacramento and charged suspects with illegal harvest of abalone and sturgeon — two species considered delicacies that have suffered sharp declines in recent years.
The arrests occurred from Mission Viejo to Fort Bragg to Sacramento

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