ANIMAL: Halfmoon Medialuna californiensis Type of Animal: Sea Chub Habitat: High water/mid-water column areas-over rocks, mid-depth areas over kelp, rocky reefs, kelp beds, floating kelp pads, oil rigs, shallow rocky areas, kelp forests Location(s): E Pacific from Vancouver Island to Gulf of California Appearance: Elongate compressed oval fish w/ small pointed head, small horizontal mouth, gray to dark bluish gray, fish darker in more offshore areas, juveniles blue above & silvery below, caudal/tail fin resembles crescent moon, dark spot above gill opening Food/Diet: Kelp, red algae, green algae, small sponges, shrimp, small anemones, mussels, small crabs, squid, anchovies, sardines Status in Wild: Stable Conservation: Not applicable Lifestyle: Schools of 12-200 fish Additional Info: Called: Male Female Young: Fry Group: School Weight: 2 lbs Gestation: 1-2 days Life Span: 4-8 years Body Length: Adult: 10-12 in Young: 1 in Main predators are pinnipeds, larger fish, & fish-eating birds. Also called blue perch, Catalina blue perch, California halfmoon, blue bass, black perch, island mackerel, blooper, blue wizard, halfmoon perch, medialuna, & chopa medialuna. Often found schooling w/ other fish species. They’re broadcast spawners, w/ sperm & eggs being released into water column. Spawning season runs from June to October. Eggs/newly hatched larvae are planktonic. Reach maturity at a year old. From a distance, coloration allows them to blend in w/ surrounding area. Dark spot above gill opening may function as false eye-spot, distracting/confusing predators. Scales are small/thick/rough. Fun Fact(s): They can be rather scrappy when hooked. These fish often disliked by kelp growers due to feeding on kelp. Get name from half-moon shaped tail. Very popular game fish in California w/ fishing season running from August-April. They’re also very common bycatch. Largest fish on record measured 1.583 ft & weighed 4 pounds, 12.5 ounces. Meat said to have light mild flavor.
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