Speckled Founder, Paralichthys woolmani: The Speckled Founder has a pale uniform chocolate brown appearance that has a series of dark brown blotches and round pale dots randomly spaced over its body. Its head is slender and pointed and its characteristic tail is small, short, and wide with a blunt point that has a series of identifying stripes. This species is a left-eyed species, However, we have collected several fish that are right-eyed. The keys to identification are arched lateral line and less than 21 fat wide gill rakers.
The Speckled Flounder can be easily confused with the California Halibut, Paralichtys californicus (doubly concave tail and at least 25 gill rakers), and the Cortez Halibut, Paralichtys aestuarius (broad head profile, no spots on its body, smaller wide fan-like caudal fin and at least 24 gill rakers).
The Speckled Founder is a member of the Paralichthyidae Family which includes the flounders and sand dabs, and the genus Paralichtys, which includes only flounders.
The Speckled Flounder reaches a maximum length of just under 3 feet, and a weight of 10 pounds. It is found in the first 75 feet of the water column, over sandy and muddy soft bottoms, and it is an opportunistic feeder, lying in wait, well camouflaged, on the ocean floor.
In Mexican fishing waters , the Speckled Founder is found south of Magdalena Bay on the Pacific side of the Baja California peninsula, throughout the Sea of Cortez, and south along the coast of mainland Mexico to Guatemala, but it appears to be absent from around the oceanic islands.
The Speckled Founder is considered an excellent food fish and is sold commercially. Efforts to introduce this species to the Salton Sea in the early 1950s failed.