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2017 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: Shark ID Question  (Read 1405 times)

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Here's your first ID request...Caught this shark from Shell Beach on Tomales Bay this past Sunday 4/30 on cut Anchovie.  Also caught a couple of rays, all in less than an hour.  Also had a nice looking (as opposed to what you usually get!) nude sunbather to admire  :smt004 (discreetly, as I was with the family).


bsteves

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Marin_schoolie,

I hope you don't mind, I moved your post to a new topic...  (ah the power!)

Anyway, from what you describe and my limited knowledge of the sharks of Tomales bay I'd have to say that's a brown smoothhound (Mustelus henlei).   Was it pretty small (i.e. < 3 ft in length)? 


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It was at least 3ft, maybe 3 1/2ft.  Brown smoothound was what I came up with from the descriptions at the back of Saltwater Fishing in California by Ron Kovach, but the size was the only thing made me question it.


Hat Trick

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i agree, brown smoothhound.
 
2006 AOTY STRIPERKING


bsteves

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I knew brown smoothhounds don't get very big, so I looked it up..  according to DFG the largest recorded was 3ft 1 in.  There is another smoothhound which isn't as common in this area but does get to be about 5 ft long... the gray smoothhound.  Unfortunately your photo is at an awkward angle and the two features that really distinguish the two species are a big obscured.

According to Miller and Lea (Guide to the coastal marine fishes of california)

If it was a brown the mid point of base of dorsal fin would have been equidistant between the pelvic and pectral fins   and the edges of the dorsal fins would have been frayed.


If it was a gray the mid point of the base of the dorsal fin would have been closer to the pelvic fin.



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Malibu_Two

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Possibly a soupfin? 3.5 ft sounds really big for a smoothhound.
May the fish be mighty and the seas be meek...


promethean_spark

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I've caught smoothounds that big.  It's definitely a brown smoothound.  I can tell by the mouth and eye, ect.
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
Superior, they said, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early.


bsteves

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Yeah, I've only seen brown smoothhounds myself and they look like this.  So, I still say it's a smoothhound, I'm just not sure whether it's a brown or a gray based on the angle of the photo and the reported size.


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You can tell really easilly by checking the mouth and teeth.  Smoothounds have little mouths and sandpaper like teeth (and barbels), while a soupfin lacks barbels, has a wide mouth with trangular shaped teeth that could do some damage.
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
Superior, they said, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early.


 

anything