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Opah, fish rare to Oregon Coast, found on Sunset Beach

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A 3.5-foot, 100-pound opah was found on Sunset Beach on Wednesday morning, according to the Seaside Aquarium.

SUNSET BEACH, Ore. — A type of fish rarely found on the Oregon Coast washed up on Sunset Beach Wednesday morning, the Seaside Aquarium said on social media. 

A 3.5-foot, 100-pound opah was reported to the aquarium at 8 a.m. Sunset Beach is located between Seaside and Warrenton on the northern coast.

After seeing photos of the unusual fish, staff responded and recovered it. “It created quite the stir at the Aquarium where folks were encouraged to come take a look at this beautiful and odd looking fish,” the aquarium wrote. 

The aquarium said the fish will be dissected by a school group. 

Although opah are rarely found so far north, it isn’t unheard of. 

The Oregonian/OregonLive reported that a Milwaukie, Ore. man caught a 97-pound, four-ounce opah 35 miles off the mouth of the Columbia River in 2009. 

Opah, also known as moonfish, are warm-blooded fish that typically live in tropical and temperate waters in open ocean, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. They spawn in warm surface waters throughout the year in the tropics and more seasonally in cooler waters.

While the fish found on Sunset Beach was about average size, the Seaside Aquarium said they can grow over 6 feet and weigh over 600 pounds. 

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