Trinectes maculatus

Hogchokers are not flounders but instead belong to the sole family. They can be found throughout the Hudson estuary, from Troy south to New York City. A big hogchoker is all of six inches long. How did they get their name? One version of the story is that these small flatfish were of such little value to fishermen that they would be removed from nets and discarded on beaches. Roving herds of pigs might find the fish and attempt to swallow them whole. If a pig swallowed a hogchoker headfirst, it might slip right on down since that would be with the smooth “grain” of the scales. If a pig swallowed the fish tailfirst, however, the scales could stick up and get caught in the pig’s throat.