Dover Sole

Latin Name

Microstomus pacificus

Group Name


Taxonomy details


Dover sole are deep-water Pacific groundfish that range from the Bering Sea and the Aleutian Islands down the west coast of Canada to Baja California, Mexico. The most important fishing grounds in Canadian waters are the west coast of Vancouver Island and farther north, off the west coast of the Queen Charlotte Islands and Dixon Entrance. Dover sole live at depths between 10 and 1,200 metres, moving into deeper waters during the winter for spawning.

Species Description

Dover sole are righteye flounders, with a compressed, oval-shaped body, and both eyes on one side. The side with the eyes ranges in colour from brown to greyish-brown, sometimes mottled with darker smudges. On their blind side, they can be off-white to grey. They have a tiny, slightly asymmetrical mouth with flat teeth, and have copious amounts of slime on their bodies making them slippery to handle. They can grow to about six kilograms. Females average around 30 centimetres in length, but can grow to 70 centimetres, whereas males do not grow larger than about 50 cm.