Pacific Chub Mackerel
- A medium-sized, slender, football-shaped fish with a pointed head and a large mouth
- Dark blue coloration on back and head, silver coloration on the belly, with mottling and small dusky blotches on the top
- Have a pointed dorsal (back) fin resembling that of related species
- They can be up to 25 inches long and up to 6 pounds
- Southeastern Alaska to Mexico
- Most common south of Point Conception, California
- Lives in the open ocean within twenty miles of shore
- Juveniles live off of sandy beaches, in open bays, and around kelp forests
- Adults live near shallow banks, from depths of 0 to 1000 feet
- They reproduce by age 4, though some as early as 1
- Spawning is at different times of year, based on location. It is year-round off of central Baja California, from late April-September off of California, and from late fall-early spring off Cabo San Lucas
- They spawn several times a year, releasing ~70,000 eggs each time
- The eggs hatch in 4-5 days
- As juveniles, they feed mainly on copepods and rotifers and larval anchovies and sardines
- Sometimes even eat smaller larvae of their own kind
- As adults, they feed on mysids and euphausids (krill)
- Large fish, sharks, tunas, marine mammals, seabirds
- Fossils of this fish have been found in the Pliocene of Italy (meaning they were around 3 to 2.2 million years ago)!
- Chub mackerel larvae can consume up to 87% of their dry body weight a day!
- They often school in large schools for defense, including with sardines and jack mackerel.
Sources: Diet of Larvae(n.d.). ulpgc.es. Retrieved April 21, 2013, from acceda.ulpgc.es/bitstream/10553/327/1/551.pdf; Paleobiology Database; NOAA Fisheries; NOAA Fishwatch
Photo: Kevin Lee