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Jack Mackerel Trachurus symmetricus


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Mackerel Jack
credit: Aleph1/CCSA

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Alternate name: Mackerel Jack

Family: Carangidae, Jacks view all from this family

Description The Pacific jack mackerel,Trachurus symmetricus (also known as the Californian jack mackerel or simply jack mackerel), is an abundant species of pelagic marine fish in the jack family, Carangidae. The species is distributed along the western coast of North America, ranging from Alaska in the north to the Gulf of California in the south, inhabiting both offshore and inshore environments. The Pacific jack mackerel is a moderately large fish, growing to a maximum recorded length of 81 cm, although commonly seen below 55 cm. It is very similar in appearance to other members of its genus, Trachurus, especially Trachurus murphyi, which was once thought to be a subspecies of T. symmetricus, and inhabits waters further south. Pacific jack mackerel travel in large schools, ranging up to 600 miles offshore and to depths of 400 m, generally moving through the upper part of the water column.

The Pacific jack mackerel is classified within the genus Trachurus, commonly known as the horse mackerels or jack mackerels. Trachurus is part of the jack family Carangidae, a group of Perciform fish in the suborder Percoidei. Recent genetic studies have divided the Carangidae into four subfamilies, with the genus Trachurus falling into the 'Caranginae' (or tribe Carangini), being most closely related to the 'scads' of the genera Decapterus and Selar.

Dimensions Up to 32" (81 cm).

Habitat Open ocean, Ocean or bay shallows, Estuaries, tidal flats & salt marshes.

Range California, Northwest, Western Canada, Alaska.