- A small, slim fish with a long snout over a large mouth that is often open while swimming.
- Blue-green coloration on top, silvery on bottom; faint silver stripe on side.
- Can be 7 inches in length.
- From British Columbia to Baja California, Mexico, including the Gulf of California.
- Usually found in open coastal waters within approximately 20 miles from shore.
- They have a very short lifecycle. They are able to spawn after two years and rarely live past four.
- They spawn throughout the year, though it peaks from February to April.
- Females can lay eggs every 7-10 days.
- Depending on water temperature, eggs hatch after 2-4 days.
- Feeds on small invertebrates, including euphausiids, copepods, and decapod larvae.
- Humans, tuna, sharks, birds, albacore, Pacific chub mackerel, and marine mammals.
- They like to socialize in very large, dense schools near the ocean surface. In July of 2014, a swarm of millions of anchovies swarmed off Scripps Pier; it was approximately 50 feet wide and 325 feet long!
- The Northern anchovy feeds both by random filter-feeding and by ‘pecking’ at prey.
- They use scent to find prey, but they can mistake the scent of plastic for food! Keeping plastic out of the ocean can help save the Northern anchovy.
Sources: Fishwatch.gov; NOAA Fisheries; California Sea Grant
Photo: Monterey Bay Aquarium