Fin-tastic Facts About Fluke Fish For Kids

Discover interesting fluke fish facts about the fish also known as "the chameleon of the sea"

The fluke fish is a flatfish variety from the flounder family. The fluke fish is also known as the summer flounder, Northern fluke, and Hirame. It is a typical commercial and recreational fish found in abundance along the East Coast of the United States. Amazingly, fluke fish can adjust their color and texture to blend in with their environment! Their survival relies on camouflage and blending in with the ocean's bottom, hence they are also called "the chameleon of the seas".

The flounder is a favorite inshore fish that is found in the United States coastal waters, and there are many species of flounder, including the fluke fish, the winter flounder, and the Southern flounder. The fluke fish, also called the summer flounder, is a flatfish primarily found in the Northern Atlantic. Flukes are skilled hunters, snatching unsuspecting prey such as minnows and squid with swift movements.

Curious to know more about the summer flounder? Check on our exciting and fun facts below on the fluke fish. Don't miss out on our other guides to the Swai fish and giant clam too!

Fluke fish

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Smaller flounders, crabs, squid, shrimp, and forage fish such as anchovies

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

Up to 4 million eggs

How much do they weigh?

Rarely exceeds 20 lb (9.07 kg)

How long are they?

8.7-23.6 in (22-60 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Brown, white, and gray

Skin Type


What are their main threats?

Humans, monkfish, skate fish, and rays

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them



Off the US and Canadian Atlantic Coast





Scientific Name

Paralichthys dentatus





Fluke Fish Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Fluke Fish?

Fluke is a variety of fish from the flounder family species. Due to their tendency to stay inshore in summers, flukes are famously known as summer flounders. Like many other flatfish, this flounder (fluke fish) is a bottom dweller, and hence it is a left eye flounders. You can easily distinguish the fluke (one of many left-eye flounders) from right-eye flounders, especially the winter flounder, a famous right-eyed flounder.

What class of animal does a Fluke Fish belong to?

The fluke fish belongs to the Actinopterygii class from the Paralichthyidae family. They come under a class of fish species that are boney and are known as ray-finned fish.

How many Fluke Fish are there in the world?

The exact population of the summer flounder at present is unknown; however, as per the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (the NOAA), the estimated number of fluke fish in the year 2003 was 69,153 metric tons and they are said to be in abundance at present.

Where does a Fluke Fish live?

The flounder fish (fluke fish) live in oceans, and they are ocean bottom dwellers. The summer flounder can be found in Nova Scotia, Florida's East Coast, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Cape Fear, North Carolina, Northern Atlantic, and American coastal waters. Larger flukes are primarily found in New England.

What is a Fluke Fish's habitat?

Summer flounder flukes are found primarily in the coastal and shelf waters of the Northeast United States and also found as far south as Florida and as far north as the Canadian Maritime Provinces of Nova Scotia covering the Western Atlantic coastal waters. The fluke habitat varies depending on the season. Fluke fish tend to migrate offshore during the colder months, and in spring and summer, they tend to move closer to shore. Fluke fish, on the whole, prefer to migrate northward into deeper feeding grounds as they get older. As a result, larger fluke fish are often captured in New England areas.

Who do Fluke Fish live with?

Like many other fish species, the summer flounder fluke fish live with other fish, especially those of their own species, and move via schooling and shoaling. Fish moving independently, but in a loose group for social reasons are described as shoaling fish and fish swimming in a pattern in the same direction together, coordinating with each other to maintain the same speed are known as schooling fish. Fluke fish choose to shoal or school depending on their situation.

How long does a Fluke Fish live?

Fluke fish can live up to 14 years, but only a tiny percentage of them make it that far.

How do they reproduce?

Most flukes mature at the age of between two and three years and spawn several times in the spawning season when they migrate offshore in the fall and early winter. When water temperatures change and autumn plankton is at its most productive stage, in October and November, spawning peaks. Summer flounder larvae have a better chance of surviving if both of these factors are present. The largest flukes are thought to be capable of releasing nearly 4 million eggs. Newly emerged larvae follow the currents to the shore, where they mature into juveniles.

What is their conservation status?

Over-fishing, commercial usage, and other factors all contributed to drastic decreases in the fluke fish's estimated biomass in the late '80s. Since then, stricter controls on commercial and recreational fishing have supported the species' recovery, not forgetting the spawn rate of 4 million eggs which has also helped to increase the species prominence. Fluke fish are now classified as Least Concern in the IUCN's red list of species.

Fluke Fish Fun Facts

What do Fluke Fish look like?

Find facts on fishing the fluke fish here.

Summer flounders are flatfish in brown, gray, white, or drab shades. They have dark spots on their backs arranged in an 'X' pattern, which helps to distinguish them from other species. Flukes have two eyes on the left side of their body when viewed from above, with the dorsal fin facing up. Their right eye changes to the brain's left side when the larvae mature into juveniles.

How cute are they?

Many people say that the fluke is a fish with an unattractive appearance. Rather than for its looks, it is appreciated for its taste, as it offers deliciously mild and pale white meat.

How do they communicate?

It is unknown how summer flounder communicate with each other. Most fish make noises such as grunts, chirps, and pops or vibrate their swim bladder to communicate., so it is likely that the fluke fish employs some of these methods too.

How big is a Fluke Fish?

Flukes are usually between 8.7-23.6 in (22-60 cm) in length, whereas the average flounder grows to 18 in (46 cm). Fluke juveniles develop quickly, reaching a length of 9- 12 in (22-30 cm) in their first year. On average, flukes in their third year reach up to 15 in (38 cm) in length.

How fast can a Fluke Fish swim?

Although a bottom fish, these flatfish swim swiftly. In the open sea, flounders travel horizontally at 0.36-0.76 miles per hour. Furthermore, during the ascent process, flounders move at a slightly steeper angle than during the descent phase. Flounder, just like tuna, sharks, and seals, are thought to optimize the energetic costs of migration in both cases.

How much does a Fluke Fish weigh?

Fluke can weigh up to 20 lb (9.07 kg), but the average size is between 1-3 lb (0.45-1.36 kg), with 8 lb (3.62 kg) considered heavy. In 2007, a fisherman reported catching a fluke fish weighing 24.3 lb (11.02 kg) and this is recorded in New Jersey State records.

What are their male and female names of the species?

In general, no specific name is given to a male and female fluke fish. Male and female fish are both simply referred to as fish.

What would you call a baby Fluke Fish?

In general, baby fish are initially known as 'larvae', they are then called 'fry' and finally called 'fingerlings'. The babies of fluke fish follow this same naming pattern.

What do they eat?

Throughout their lives, summer flounders consume a range of fish and invertebrates. Crabs, squid, shrimp, forage fish like anchovies, and even tiny flounders are among the flukes' favorite foods.

Are they dangerous?

The flounder has a reputation for being abrasive. Any enticing bait, trap, or even fly will entice the flukes to strike. Summer flounders are predatory, carnivorous creatures.

Would they make a good pet?

When not in the wild, Paralichthys dentatus need a large tank aquarium with sand and other gravel substrate and cannot be kept with other small fish as they may end up as prey for the flukes. Considering its semi-aggressive nature and high maintenance, it is advised to have a fluke as a pet.

Did you know...

The fluke fish has a large mouth and well-developed teeth. When the water temperature is above 60 F and the water is clear, a fluke bites the hardest.

Flukes are popular in commercial and recreational fishing, but fishing to catch a fluke can be tricky. They remain stationary on the bottom of the ocean and are partially submerged, making them difficult to spot by baitfish flying overhead. To catch a fluke fish you can set up a drift from a boat so that your bait or lure drifts over or around them. Cast your bait or lure it out from the shore and work it along or near the bottom of the ocean in the same direction as the moving water. Flukes will leap from a hiding place and strike any baitfish within range. After you catch the fluke, you will feel the extra weight on your line; but it is advised to wait about 10 seconds before reeling as the fluke will have caught the bait halfway between the tail and head.

Differences between Flukes and Flounders

The fluke is from the same family as a flounder. There are three types of flounders: summer flounder, winter flounder, and Southern flounder. The summer flounder, also known as fluke are left-facing, live from North Carolina to Mainland, and have eye-like spots on the back and near the tail. Winter flounder are right-facing, found around Maryland to Labrador in Canada, and are found in a darker color. Southern flounders are left-facing, but we can differentiate them with their dark patches, and they prefer living in warm places.

Do people eat Fluke Fish?

Yes! Their white, flaky meat holds up well to various cooking methods, including frying, barbecue, steamer, and oven.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including codfish or skate fish.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Fluke Fish coloring pages.



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