Opah are usually native to more temperate waters, though not unseen in the Pacific Northwest

By Kate Hogan
July 16, 2021 04:46 PM
opah fish
Credit: Seaside Aquarium/Facebook

It's o-fish-al: something incredibly rare happened in Oregon this week.

On Wednesday, the Surfside Aquarium posted on Facebook that an Opah, not frequently seen so far north, had washed ashore on Sunset Beach, along Oregon's very northwest coast. Someone reported the creature to aquarium staff, who came to recover the deceased fish.

"It created quite a stir at the aquarium," the post read. "Folks were encouraged to come take a look at this beautiful and odd-looking fish."

The Opah was more than 3 ft. and 100 lbs., though Opah can actually grow to be 6 ft. and 600 lbs., aquarium staff wrote in the post.

opah fish
Credit: Seaside Aquarium/Facebook

"While rare this far north it is not unheard of," the post continued. "According to OregonLive, a 97 pound Opah was caught 37 miles off of the Columbia River Mouth in 2009."

The fish generally linger in tropical and temperate waters, aquarium staff added, and eat krill and squid.

For now, the fish will stay frozen at the aquarium until the start of the new school year, when one group of local students will be chosen to dissect the Opah.