Spiny Dogfish

Flat head and snout.

VISUAL ICON: Shark-like in appearance.

Two dorsal fins (with spines)

Called Dogfish, Mud Shark, Rock Salmon and a million dirty names, Spiny Dogfish is a species of bottom-dwelling shark long considered a nuisance for their habit of stealing bait.


70 to 100 cm (30 to 40 inches)+


3 to 4.5 kg (7 to 10 lbs)+


Found in the Pacific and Atlantic, especially in temperate waters. In B.C., they are widespread, found in both shallow and deep waters and often in enclosed, protected areas like bays.


Usually caught by accident when fishing for other species. Light tackle and a variety of baits are popular with anglers.


Boneless, with firm white flesh, Spiny Dogfish has grown in popularity as a food source, especially in some European countries where it is used in “fish and chips.”


Sharp spines in dorsal fins can produce toxic wounds. As an apex predator, Spiny Dogfish can contain higher levels of mercury.


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