Fluke Image
(Paralichthys dentatus)
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[Link to FishNet USA #3Link to a FishNet USA edition on fluke management]

The fluke, also commonly known as summer flounder, is one of New Jersey's two most common flatfishes. These fish are easily recognizable because they are flattened from side to side, allowing them to inhabit their bottom-dwelling niche very successfully. 

One of the eyes in each of the flatfish species migrates over the top of the head as the larval fish matures. In the case of the fluke, the right eye moves to the left side - the upper side - of the fish. This upper side is heavily pigmented, allowing the fish to blend in when it is lying on the bottom. The right - or lower - side is white, making the fish difficult to see fro lower down when it is up in the water column. 

Fluke are known as voracious predators. As their scientific name indicates, they are well-supplied with sharp teeth and are adept at feeding on smaller fish. Large fluke, known as "doormats" for obvious reasons, can reach upwards of ten pounds but the most common size coming to market are under a foot and half in total length and yield fillets that are the ideal size for a single meal. 

The fluke stocks in the Mid-Atlantic also support a significant sports fishery.