Body oblong, somewhat compressed, lower profile ~ horizontal; back strongly arched; head low, broad, conical; snout < eye; mouth ~ horizontal, under projecting snout; chin with 1 short, thick rigid barbel with a pore at its tip, and 2 pairs of pores beside its base; teeth in bands on each jaw, outer row on top jaw larger; 15-22 gill rakers; preopercle finely serrated; dorsal fin with a deep notch, X + I, 24-30, spines slender, second dorsal long base; anal small, II, 7 (rarely 6) rays, 2nd spine thick, > ½ length of 1st ray; pectoral short, not reaching tip of pelvic, 16-19 rays; tail edge straight to slightly concave the upper rays elongated; scales rough on head and body, smooth on fins; bases of soft dorsal and anal fins with scaly sheath; lateral line scales 51-54.
Bright silvery, bluish above; sides with oblique, undulating brown or olive lines following scale rows; fins yellow; inner side of gill cover blackish; lining of gut cavity dark.
Size: attains 55.6 cm.
Inhabits coastal areas, including sandy bays and harbours.
Depth: 1-45 m.
Point Conception, California to the NE Gulf of California.