Sea Life

Sierra Mackerel Facts & Information Guide

Sierra/Spanish Mackerel, as it is known, is a species of fish that makes a smart seafood choice for dining. As they swim in the oceans, they have a unique colorful appearance that makes them fascinating to watch. A mackerel’s appearance is similar to that of a skate, with its silvery body and different markings. Let’s explore a bit more about this incredible fish species and also get to know some amazing facts in the end.

Sierra Mackerel information guide

The Sierra Mackerel is a species of fish in the Mackerel family. It is found in the eastern Pacific Ocean, from Baja California to Ecuador, including the Gulf of California. Below you will find out about the fish’s habitat, diet, lifespan, and more.

Scientific classification

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassActinopterygii
OrderScombriformes
FamilyScombridae
TribeScomberomorini
GenusScomberomorus
Speciesmaculatus

Physical Attributes

This species is known for its elongated, arrow-like body shape. With green backs and elliptical to round yellow spots on its sides, the fish has a silvery appearance. In addition to being smaller, Spanish mackerel lack the lateral line punctuating the second dorsal fin, which distinguishes them from king mackerel. Having small fins makes them easy to maneuver and fast to travel – not to mention why the fish is known as migratory.

Sierra mackerel have reached sizes as large as 37 inches. However, on average, these fish reach 35 inches. Until they reach the age of 5 or 6, their growth is pretty rapid, but then they slow down. They end up weighing approximately 16 pounds.

Habitat

The Atlantic shoreline and the Gulf of Mexico are both great areas for Spanish mackerel fishing. Their habitat is mostly open water, but they can also be found in shallow estuaries, grass beds, and reefs. Their preferred water temperature is over 68° F.

Diet

A Spanish mackerel is a carnivore, and like most fellows of the genus, its diet comprises mostly small fishes. In addition, they eat a variety of smaller prey, including cephalopods and shrimp.

Lifespan

It is possible for Sierra Mackerel to live up to 12 years, although they typically live for eight to ten years on average.

Reproduction

Two years is the age at which sierra mackerels become capable of reproducing. It is common for Spanish mackerel to release their eggs in batches during the spawning season, and females can lay as many as 500,000 to 1.5 million eggs during the breeding season.

Conservation status

In light of the species’ abundance, it is regarded as the least concerning species.

Sierra Mackerel Facts

  • The Sierra mackerel is a vital commercial fish species and is also common as a game fish.
  • The Sierra Mackerel is a schooling fish, often forming large schools of thousands of individuals.
  • The body of the Sierra Mackerel is silver-grey in color, with dark vertical bars on the flanks.
  • The Sierra Mackerel is a highly migratory fish, undertaking long-distance migrations between its feeding and breeding grounds.
  • There are many predators that feed on Spanish mackerel, including dolphins and sharks.

Conclusion

The Sierra Mackerel, also known as the Pacific Mackerel, is a species of mackerel found in the open waters of the Pacific Ocean. It is a popular fish for sport and commercial fishing and is considered a delicious and nutritious seafood option.

About the author

Ameer Hamza