Oarfish shores up on Catalina Island

FishRap Staff

Armando Gonzalez arrived on Catalina Island on Aug. 17 to celebrate his birthday and do some fishing. Someone informed him an Oarfish washed ashore just east of Avalon. Gonzalez went to check it out and found the Oarfish.

A marine biologist helped place the Oarfish on a cloth, Gonzalez said. The Oarfish reportedly measured in at 15.5 feet long and had a portion of its tail missing; it was later dissected.

“Most of the lower law was also missing,” Gonzalez said in a Facebook post. “It had a pale grey color due to it already being deceased. These Oarfish have a beautiful pinkish Dorsal Fin which runs from head to tail. It also has a comblike fins above It’s head much like a Roosterfish. The eye is the size of a Pringles lid.I returned after a couple of hours and found a Biologist had started dissecting the Oarfish right where it was.”

An Oarfish was almost reeled in by a sportfishing vessel just outside Avalon Harbor last month. The Oarfish managed to breakaway; no one aboard the vessel knew if the Oarfish survived the battle. Whether this is the same Oarfish is not known.

Spotting Oarfish is considered a rare phenomenon, though reports of the species being found at Catalina have become more frequent. Is warmer weather causing fish species otherwise unseen in Southern California to be swimming in these parts? ?FishRap? and ?The Log? will study whether warmer waters means anglers will see plenty more species in the region.

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