We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Lemon Sole?

By Anna Harrison
Updated Jun 04, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A lemon sole is a flat fish that belongs to the Pleuronectidae family and lives in shallow waters off the coast of the northern Atlantic Ocean. It is dark green to ruddy brown in color, and sometimes spotted, with a white underside. Like other flounders, it has a small mouth, eyes only on the left side of its head, and swims on its right side. These types of fish are often called winter flounder; in cold weather they migrate close to shore, where they stay until spring. Other common names include English sole and southern lemon sole.

The lemon sole spawns from winter to early spring in shallow areas and then leaves for deeper water. The female lemon sole lays as many as 600,000 eggs, although most of them do not hatch. They are laid in clusters and hatch with two to three weeks. Unlike adults, their eyes are on the right side of their heads; upon hatching, however, they migrate to the left side just a few weeks later. These hatchlings grow to be about 4 inches long (100 mm) during their first year of life and will reach as much as 2 feet in length (60 cm) at maturity.

Survival is not easy for these fish because they are preyed upon by many other species. The striped bass, mackerel, winter skate, and toadfish all feed upon their eggs and larvae. Mature lemon sole are eaten by the Atlantic cod, monkfish, bluefish, and many others. Birds such as the striped sea robin, gulls, cormorants, and sea ravens prey upon them as well.

Although omnivorous, their diet consists mainly of shrimp, worms, small clams, and other invertebrates. Most of the plants they consume seem to be eaten accidentally. The diet varies based on what is available to them. They feed only during the daytime and are all but completely inactive at night. Very little food is consumed by this flatfish during the winter, and they may stop eating altogether this time of the year.

These fish are very sensitive to polluted waters and may stop feeding in areas contaminated with oil. Oily sediment in the water may lead to lymphocystitis or fin rot and can be fatal to the lemon sole. Pesticides in the water also lead to high mortality rates in both the larvae and mature fish.

Several thousand tons of these delicious fish are harvested each year and consumed throughout the world. They are heavily fished all the way down the eastern seaboard of the United States. Measures are now being taken to ensure that areas with high lemon sole populations are not being overfished to avoid possible endangerment in the future.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.