Yellow-bellied flounder: description, habitats

Yellow-bellied flounder: description, habitats
Yellow-bellied flounder: description, habitats

Basically, representatives of this family are typical demersal fish, which are characterized by local habitation by separate populations in limited water areas. Their migrations are small in length, and wintering takes place within a small area with the formation of sedentary, high-density clusters. We are talking about flounder, which is called yellow-bellied.

Fish characteristics

Spawning and spawning is carried out by fish in gyre zones in coastal areas. The population size depends on the habitat conditions. Its fluctuations are within small limits. Fish are often overfished.

yellow-bellied flounder

Platichthys quadrituberculat (yellow-bellied flounder) is a family of pleuronectidae (flounders).

The eyes of this type of fish are located on the left side of the body. The diameter of her eye is equal to the length of the snout, or even more. Behind the upper eye, it has 4-6 sharp bony tubercles of a conical shape.Therefore, this yellow-bellied flounder is also called the four-tuberculate flounder.

Its body is wide and covered with smooth scales of cycloid type. The lateral line has a slight bend. The side without eyes is called the blind side. It is dyed lemon yellow. The eye side is of a different, brownish-brown color, with a marble-like pattern. Sometimes it has vague dark spots. The length of the fish reaches 60 centimeters, and the weight is up to 3 kg.

Where is the yellow-bellied flounder common?

Basically, she lives along the Asian and American coasts. These are directions:

  • from Peter the Great Bay (some specimens only) to Providence Bay;
  • from the southeastern part of the Chukchi Sea to the Gulf of Alaska;
  • areas west of Cape Spencer;
  • in Kotzebue Bay it is 84-88%;
  • in Norton Bay - 88-91%;
  • in the Bering Strait - 17-35%;
  • in the Sea of ​​Japan, it is found mainly in the north;
  • in the Tatar Strait (northern part), this fish is considered a common type;
  • in the Sea of ​​Okhotsk, yellow-bellied flounder is found everywhere from the coast of Hokkaido and Aniva Bay to the northernmost part;
  • sometimes this fish is caught in the Sakhalin Bay, near Ayan and Shantar;
  • dense accumulations found in Patience Bay and Western Kamchatka;
  • In the Bering Sea, its stable and relatively isolated accumulations are in the Olyutorsky, Korfo-Karaginsky, Anadyrsky bays, Natalia Bay and in the eastern part of the sea.
flounder fish

This type of flounder is more common off the American coast than off the Asian coast.

Biology and lifestyle

This is a marine bottom fish that lives in relatively shallow waters (up to 300 meters in the Sea of ​​Okhotsk and the Sea of ​​Japan). She prefers s alt water and moves away from fresh areas. As you know, certain sea waters are rich in iodine. That is why the flounder is yellow and when it is caught, a special smell is often heard. It smells like iodine.

She has the property of a fairly pronounced seasonal migration. In summer, the bulk of this flounder is at a depth of less than 100 meters. The maximum catch is usually reached between the isobaths of 20 and 70 meters. At the time of late autumn and already in winter, fish of this species migrate to the dump, concentrating on isobaths from 100-150 meters and the water temperature at the very bottom is above 0°C. At the same time, its part is on the middle shelf, where there is also a negative temperature. As much as possible, the fish prefers water temperatures of 3-4°C.

white-bellied flounder

This fish is predatory. It eats about 107 species of small inhabitants of the aquatic environment. But worms, crustaceans and mollusks predominate in food. According to the nature of the food, the fish belongs to the type of "benthophage-polyphage".

This large fish lives for about 22 years. The catch is dominated by flounder from 5 to 12 years old. On average, its length is 24-48 cm. The mass of such fish is 300-1400 g. The flounder belongs to the cold-loving euryhaline species.

It is found almost everywhere off the coast of Primorye. Peter the Great Bay is the southern border of the yellow-bellied flounder range.


Yellow-bellied flounder is very nutritionally similar to yellowfin flounder.

These two species have the highest biomass. Nutritional similarity in juveniles reaches 51%.

Interestingly, there are about 570 species of flounder in the world and only three of them live in fresh water. Yellow-bellied and white-bellied flounders are found in the Sea of ​​Japan, the Bering and the Sea of ​​Okhotsk. What's the difference between them?

dried yellow-bellied flounder

First of all, in the color of the blind side of the body. The white-bellied fish grows up to 50 cm, although fish 30-35 cm are usually sold. It has a white color on the blind side and an unusual sharp bend in the lateral line.


White-bellied flounder is highly valued in cooking. She has white meat with the aroma of fresh sea. It is practically without small bones and does not have a pronounced smell of fish. It is prepared in any way. In cooking, yellow-bellied and white-bellied flounder is valued. Which one tastes better is debatable. To each his own. But the white-bellied fish is often preferred due to its versatility and lack of a specific smell of iodine.

Flounder refers to dietary products. Its meat has a high nutritional value and easy digestibility. It is rich in polyunsaturated fats that can protect the human body from intense aging and cancer. The white-bellied and yellow-bellied flounder is no exception. The differences between these species in terms of meat value are insignificant. But we can say that the yellow-bellied is saturated with iodine to a greater extent. This affects cooking methods.


Spawning of yellow-bellied flounderfound in all areas of its numerous accumulations. It mainly occurs at a depth of 180-200 meters. But even at greater or lesser depths, spawning individuals can be found. Regarding the density of spawning aggregations, it can be noted that its high level usually does not manifest itself.

The breeding season lasts from March to July. Basically, this is the time of the hydrological spring. The timing of spawning to the north shifts slightly towards summer, but in general, the period of mass spawning is May-June and, in part, the end of April. The eastern part of the Bering Sea is characterized by a pattern of flounder spawning at a water temperature near the bottom of 2-4°C, and on the surface - 0-1°C.

yellowfin flounder

Juveniles mostly stay close to the coast, reaching depths of less than 20 meters.

Off the coast of Kamchatka, the spawning of the yellow-bellied flounder is the basis of the summer coastal trawl fishery. In the Gulf of Kamchatka, this fish is caught in the coastal complex.

Why does a flounder have a yellow belly, and how to understand whether it is fresh or not?

This is a large fish: on sale it is found in length and up to 40 centimeters. Its distinguishing feature is the yellow, even lemon, color of the blind side of the body. Flounder refers to commercial fish. It contains a large amount of minerals and vitamins, rich in Omega-3. The high iodine content gives the meat a special value.

Therefore, people with a deficiency of this trace element are recommended to use such flounder for regular use. When this fish is fresh, it has a specific smell of iodine. This is how quality is determined when buying. If athe yellow color is not in the fish itself, but in the form of a plaque formed on the surface of the carcass, then the flounder cannot be eaten. This indicates the repeated freezing of the product.

Understanding why the flounder has a yellow belly, what fresh fish smells like and what is the difference between its own color and the formed plaque will protect the buyer from adverse he alth consequences. You should always be careful when buying fish, as poisoning with this product is very dangerous.

Market and catch

For sale yellow-bellied flounder is supplied in ice cream or fresh. Freezing can be both in glaze and without it. In addition, ready-made flounder can be found on sale: s alted, dried, smoked (spicy, cold or hot cooking method).

frozen yellow-bellied flounder

From the shore it is caught with carp rods and feeders, and from the boat - by sheer lure. Special equipment is recommended for sea fishing. These are sea rods that are more resistant to s alt water.

Bait is any protein food. For example, small fish, shellfish, crabs, worms and squids. Some fishermen manage to catch flounder even for sausage.

Special gear is popular for such fishing - longitudinals: a nylon cord, to one end of which a heavy sinker is attached, and to the other - a buoy. Its length is equal to the depth at the place of fishing (approximately). A separate piece of fishing line is tied to the weighted end, leashes with hooks and bait (up to 4 pieces).

Cooking Methods

Energy value of this fishis 82 Kcal per 100 g. Its meat is white and soft, but watery. It is best to cook the whole flounder. Most often it is fried. But cooking methods in the oven or on the grill are popular.

Sea yellow-bellied flounder in cider

The carcass is preparing very quickly. In principle, it is good in any form, even boiled. Therefore, fish soups are prepared from it. There is an admirer for every dish. The main thing is that flounder is a very he althy fish and you should definitely have it in your diet.

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