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Flounder Identification

A few features help distinguish the flounder caught recreationally along New Hampshire’s coast that have size regulations: Orientation of the eyes (right- or left-eyed); mouth size; and shape of the lateral line or tail. Recreational saltwater anglers in NH most commonly catch winter flounder, followed by yellowtail, summer flounder and American plaice. While not often caught, Atlantic halibut are the largest flounder found in the Gulf of Maine.

Winter Flounder
(12″ min. length)

  • Eyes on right side
  • Small mouth
  • Scales between eyes

American Plaice
(14″ min. length)

Am Plaice F.psd
  • Eyes on right side
  • Large mouth

Yellowtail Flounder
(13″ min. length)

yellowtail flounder F.psd

Arched lateral line

  • Eyes on right side
  • Small mouth

Summer Flounder
(15″ min. length)

  • Eyes on left side
  • Large mouth
  • Sharp teeth

Atlantic Halibut
(41″ min. length)

Halibut CMass DFG-Victor Young Illustration 300.tif

Arched lateral line

  • Largest flatfish
  • Eyes on right side
  • Tail concave

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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