Barndoor Skate

The⁢ Barndoor Skate, scientifically known as Dipturus laevis, belongs to the​ Rajidae family. It is a large species ⁣of skate​ fish ⁣found primarily in​ the western Atlantic Ocean.

Conservation Status

The current conservation status of the Barndoor Skate​ is‌ listed ⁢as “Least Concern” according to⁤ the most⁤ recent assessment. Despite ⁣past overfishing concerns, conservation efforts, including‍ restrictions on fishing and habitat restoration, have helped the population to steadily recover.


Statistical ⁤CategoryAverageRange
Length76 cm40-150 cm
Weight6 kg1-9 kg
Life SpanUp to 18 years


Barndoor ‍Skates can be found ‍in the ⁤western part of⁤ the Atlantic ​Ocean. They mostly inhabit regions around the United States, Canada,⁢ and‌ down to the Caribbean. There’s no‍ significant migration pattern recorded for this species.


Preferring a marine environment, Barndoor Skates can typically‍ be found ⁣in sandy or muddy sea ⁣bottoms within the depth of 24 ⁣to 400 meters. ⁣The species can adapt to a‌ variety of temperatures, ranging from 2°C to⁤ 20°C.

When and Where to See

Though Barndoor Skates can generally be spotted year-round,⁣ they ‌are in ‌most abundance during⁢ Spring and Summer months. They can often‍ be sighted near ‌the ocean floor during the day.

Best Fishing Locations

Fishing for Barndoor ‌Skates can be most productive in‌ the⁣ following locations:

1. ⁤Georges Bank, USA
2. Southern New ⁢England, USA
3. Gulf of Maine, USA
4.⁤ Grand Banks, Canada
5. Scotian Shelf, Canada
6. ⁤Northeast United ⁣States Continental shelf
7.⁢ Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada
8. ‌North Carolina coast, USA
9. Virginia‍ coast, USA
10.⁤ Gulf of Mexico, USA

If specific locations aren’t known, look for muddy‍ or sandy bottoms in the ocean at depths between 24 and⁢ 400‍ meters.

How⁣ to Catch

While there isn’t a preferred ‌bait ⁣or lure specifically for catching Barndoor Skates, they can⁤ often be⁢ caught using pieces of shellfish or worms. Techniques such as bottom fishing work best since ⁣they typically reside at the ocean⁤ floor.⁢ The ⁤most​ successful fishing season is typically during the ‌Spring and Summer months.

Identification Guide

Barndoor Skates are distinguished​ by their flat bodies with ​wing-like pectoral ⁣fins, triangular-shaped snouts, and a ⁤dark-colored backside that ranges from reddish-brown to gray. Their underside is pale or white in color. Their long tails also have three‌ distinctive rows⁤ of‍ sharp thorns ⁢along the back.


Barndoor Skate is often enjoyed for its unique texture​ and flavor. It has a sweet taste with a moderately firm texture. It can be baked, fried, ​or ‌grilled and pairs well with a variety of cuisine ‍styles. The wings of the ‌skate are the‍ most commonly consumed part of the​ fish. Its meat is ⁤rich in protein, low in fat, and​ high in vitamin⁢ B12.

Additional Information

Barndoor ‌Skates are primarily benthivorous, feeding on a range of bottom-dwelling creatures such as ‍crustaceans, mollusks, and small​ fishes.‌ They lay eggs⁢ in rectangular capsules ⁤which have unique points at ​the corners known as “mermaid’s ⁤purses”. Among their⁣ significant threats are larger marine creatures like sharks.⁢ Human activities, like‍ overfishing and ‌habitat destruction,⁤ also pose a considerable threat.

References and ‌Further⁣ Reading

For detailed information ‍on the Barndoor Skate, readers are encouraged to explore scientific journals and⁤ marine biology publications. In particular, the following sources ⁣are ⁤recommended: Florida Museum of ⁣Natural⁤ History, ⁢National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ⁢(NOAA), and Fisheries and Oceans Canada