Elleda Wilson: In One Ear: Offbeat opah

·1 min read

Jul. 22—'A large fish, rare to the Oregon Coast, was found on Sunset Beach July 14. The 3.5-foot, 100-pound opah was reported to the Seaside Aquarium at 8 a.m.," Tiffany Boothe, of the aquarium, said.

"After seeing photographs of the unusual fish, we quickly responded and recovered the fish. It created quite the stir at the aquarium, where folks were encouraged to come take a look at this beautiful and odd-looking fish." Tiffany's photo of the fish is shown.

"Opahs can grow to over 6 feet and weigh over 600 pounds. They inhabit pelagic — meaning they live in the open ocean — tropical and temperate waters, where they feed on krill and squid.

"Always on the lookout for new educational opportunities, the fish will be frozen until the school year starts," she explained. "Partnering with the Columbia River Maritime Museum's educational director, Nate Sandel, one lucky school group will get the chance to dissect this large fish.

"While rare this far north, it is not unheard of." According to The Oregonian, she added, "a 97-pound opah was caught 37 miles off of the Columbia River mouth in 2009."

The fisherman who caught it, environmental lawyer Dave Phillips, who was fishing for tuna at the time, took it to a Hawaiian restaurant (opah is a valuable food fish in Hawaii) in Vancouver, Washington, where it was prepared for him.

He proclaimed the fish "delicious ... I'm stuffed."

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