Spiny Dogfish

Spiny Dogfish

Squalus acanthias

Life History:


Description and Diagnostic Characteristics: The Dorsal fins are both preceded by a single spine and the anal fin is absent. The color is slate-gray or brownish-gray above and pale gray to white below and the body is scattered with small white spots. The interdorsal ridge is weak. .

Size: Up to about 4½ feet

Age at Maturity: Females reach maturity at 12 years of age and from 29.9-30.1 inches in length, while most males mature at 6 years and about 23.6 inches in length.

Range: Greenland to Florida and Cuba but it is uncommon south of North Carolina.

Habitat: Coastal and offshore. Found in surface waters to 3,000 ft. and is usually near the bottom in waters between 43 and 52°F.

Angling Information:


Bait and Tackle: Light gear works well such as spinning and baitcasting outfits.

Fishing Method: Still fishing, drifting

Food Value: Very good

State Regulation:


Daily Limit: 1 (This is 1 fish limit from the small shark composite (SSC) which includes Atlantic sharpnose, Bonnethead, and Spiny dogfish)

Minimum size: 30" FL

Federal Regulation:

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