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Extremely heavy sunfish spotted in Squaxin Passage

(Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife)

(Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife)

MASON COUNTY, Wash. — A fisherman spotted a very large sunfish last Sunday in Squaxin Passage.

Fisherman Jim Byrne told Washington’s Department of Fish & Wildlife he was looking for cutthroat trout when the huge Ocean Sunfish swam pass. The sunfish is also known by its Latin name Mola mola.

South Puget Sound fish biologist James Losee says the Mola mola is one of the heaviest known bony fishes in the world. An average adult fish weights 545 to 2,205 pounds, but some have grown to 3,500 to almost 5,000 pounds.

The Mola mola resembles a fish head with a tail, and its main body is flat. They can also be as tall as they are long.

Losee said the Mola mola primarily eat jellyfish and lives in warmer waters in the open ocean.

They are not sure why the fish was in the South Puget Sound.