St. Lawrence species

American plaice

Hippoglossoides platessoides

Type of resource

  • Bottom fish
  • Fish

Status of the resource

  • Threatened

In season

Fresh from February to October.

SIZE : Approximately 30 cm, up to 82.6 cm.

LIFE EXPECTANCY : Up to 30 years.

LIFE CYCLE : Sexual maturity around 6 to 8 years. Formerly, around 10 to 11 years.

The female lays its eggs in several batches. Spawning can last up to a month. A female measuring 60 cm can lay up to a million eggs. After being fertilized in the water column, they float to the surface.

When they hatch, the young fish have one eye on each side of their body. Later, they undergo a metamorphosis that shifts their eyes to their right side. As they grow, they settle to the bottom of the ocean, preferring sedimentary areas to bury themselves.

American plaice are a slow-growing species, with a long lifespan. Females are larger than males, so there is sexual dimorphism.

The American plaice is a flatfish, characterized by its two eyes, both found on the right side. Its body is oval and thick, in shades of reddish-brown to dark beige, with occasional darker spots. Its blind side is white. Its mouth is wide. The tail is rounded. The body is covered with small scales, rough on the ocular side and smooth on the blind side. The American plaice has scales between its eyes. Its lateral line is slightly arched above the fin.

On the bottom, up to several thousand meters in depth, but usually up to 300 m.

A cold-water species, the American plaice can adapt to temperatures ranging from 1.5 ° C to 13 ° C.




Atlantic halibuts
Atlantic cods

MACHINES : Gillnets, seines, trawls, and incidental catches.


  • There has been a total ban on American plaice fishing since 1993. Only incidental catches are authorized, up to a maximum of 10% of the total authorized catch of the target species.

The abundance of American plaice has declined dramatically between 1970 and 1990. Today, populations are still endangered. The American plaice is currently being considered for addition to the list of species at risk.

The American plaice provides lean protein, vitamin D, selenium, and Omega-3.

Flaky, fragile texture. Delicate, flavourful taste.

The American plaice is a versatile fish that can be prepared either poached, sautéed, steamed, or baked.


  • Given its endangered status, we do not recommend eating American plaice.