You are on page 1of 164


Complete your collection of

Golden Guides and Golden Field Guides!
Golden, Golden Guide, and Golden Press
are trademarks of Western Publishing Company, Inc.
Associate Professor of Zoology Emeritus
University of Illinois
Il lustrated by
Western Publishing Company, Inc.
Racine, Wisconsin
Golden Trout Queen Triggerfish
Fi shes have l i ved on the earth l onger than any other
backboned ani mal s and show greater di versi t y i n thei r
way of l i fe. I f i nterest i n fi shes can be j udged by i nterest
i n fi s hi ng, they are the most popu l ar ani mal s , too. Wi th
thi s book, the Gol den Gui des now encompass al l the ver
tebrates-fi shes, amphi bi ans, repti l es, bi rds, and mammal s.
Li ke previ ous Gui des, the maki ng of t hi s book was a
cooperati ve effort of authors, experts, ar t i sts, and pub
l i shers . We wi sh to thank the fol l owi ng organi zat i ons for
the assi stance they have gi ven : Uni versi ty of I l l i noi s Mu
seum of Natural Hi story; U . S . Fi sh and Wi l dl i fe Servi ce;
Gul f Coast Research laboratory; The U . S . Nat i onal
Museum; Scri pps I nsti tuti on of Oceanography; I l l i noi s
Natural Hi story Survey; and t he Chi cago Nat ur al Hi s
t or y Museum. I ndi vi dual hel p from experts has been
bounti ful . May we especi al l y thank Reeve M. Bai l ey,
Frederi ck M. Bayer, Harvey R . Bul l i s , J r. , John E . F i t ch,
John R. Greel ey, Gordon Gunter, Donal d F. Hoffmei s
ter, Car l l . Hubbs, R. Wel don lari more, George G.
lower, lawrence Page, Wal do l. Schmi t t , leonard P.
Schul tz, Henry F. Shi rt z, Stewart Spri nger, Thomas Uz
zel l , loren P. Woods, and Mi l ton W. Zi m.
Revised Edition. 1987
H . S. Z.
H . H . S.
Copyright 1987, 1955 by Western Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved,
including rights of reproduction and use in any form or by any means, including
the makin9 of copies by any photo process, or by any electronic or mechanical
device, pnnted or written or oral. or recording for sound or visual reproduction or
for use in any knowledge retrieval system or device, unless permission in writing
is obtained rom the copyright proprietor. Produced in the U.S.A. Published by
Golden Press, New York, N.Y. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 61-
8322. ISBN 0-307-24059-2
0 U S T 5
Thi s book is an i ntroduct i on to the worl d of fi shes-an
i mportant part of the greater wor l d of aquat i c l i fe. It i s
pri mar i l y a gui de to fi shes as l i vi ng ani mal s and hence
attempts to i ncl ude most of the common fresh- and sal t
water fi shes of North Ameri can waters .
One probl em i n l earni ng about fi shes i s that they are
not eas i l y seen except at an aquari um, or when caught .
So, be prepared to i denti fy fi shes by us i ng t hi s book
beforehand. Fami l i ari t y wi th fi shes gai ned by t humbi ng
t hrough pages at odd moments may enabl e you to make
rough i denti fi cat i ons at s i ght . Use t hi s book as an "arm
chai r" gui de, but al so take i t i nto the fi el d wi th you, for
that i s where i t can be used best . On fi s hi ng tri ps t ake i t
al ong i n a pl ast i c bag .
Use the tabl e o n the next two pages t o hel p pl ace i n
i ts proper group the fi sh you wi sh t o i dent i fy. Then l ook
t hr ough the proper sect i on of t he book f or a pi cture of
t he fi s h, or one l i ke i t . Remember t hat onl y the mor e
common speci es are i l l ustrated . Thei r sci enti fi c names
are on pp. 154-157. Wi th these are abbrevi at i ons i ndi
cat i ng where the fi shes are found . Such notat i ons refer
to the speci es i l l ustrated, not necessar i l y to the ent i re
genus or fami l y.
As a furt her hel p on ocean l i fe, use SEASHORES,
another Gol den Gui de. The book l i st on p. 153 i ntro
duces more advanced books . I n usi ng these, you may
fi nd i t advantageous to know the sci enti fi c names of
fi shes .
The mai n groups of fshes
. SHARKS and RAYS Have five or more gil l
openings, scal es pl acoid, thornlike, or absent
(terms are given an p. 12) . 20-29
STURGEONS and GARS Tail shark-like or
rounded; ganaid scales . . 32-33
spines, pelvic fns on abdomen, tail forked,
no adipose fn . , 341
TROUTS, SALMONS Fins without spines;
adipose fn, no barbels . . 42-50
FISHES Fins usually without spines, oir
bladder connected by a duct with alimentary
canal . . . . . 52-
FL YINGFISHES and relatives One or
both of the jaws are el ongate or the fshes
have winglike fns . . . . . . 67-9
COD-LIKE FISHES Usually three dorsal fns
without spines . . . . . . . 70-75
FLATFISHES Lie an one side and have both
eyes on upper side of head . . . . 76-78
SEAHORSES and relatives Small mouth
at end of long snout . . . . 80
-==, MACKERELS AND TUNAS Characterized

by numerous finlets above and below the

tail . . . . 84-89
and thei r pl aces i n t hi s book:
JACKS Us u al l y a l at er al keel t hat
strengthens narrow tail . . 93-96
Fresh-water fishes with spiny and soft dorsal
fins . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97-105
mouthed marine fishes with spiny and soft
dorsal fins . . . . . . . . . . 106-111
Common marine fishes, chiefly tropical . Body
usual l y deep and compressed . . 112-11 8
lateral l ine extends across tail fin 119-123
PIONFISHES Scul pin-like or mail -cheeked
fishes . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 24-1 29
WRASSES large, cycl oid scal es. Spiny and
soft dorsal s; fins are continuous and l ong.
Found among coral s and rocks . . . . 130
Bril l iantl y col ored; compressed; tropical
PUFFERS Boxl ike or spiny with teeth fused
for ni pping . . . . . . . . . 134-143
BUNNIES and GOBlES Smal l ; l ong-bod
ied; often l ack scal es . . . . 144-147
Paired fins "faot-l ike, " used for wal king;
"bait" on head . . . . . . . . 1 48-1 S 1
Brook Trout
cold fresh water
Channel Catfsh
warm fresh water
cold salt water
Eel-hatched in salt
water, lives in fresh
FI SHES, say di ctionaries, are
fnned, backboned ani mal s that
l ive in water and breathe by
means of gi l l s. Modern fshes form
a diverse, i mportant, and chal
l engi ng group of ani mal s, not
very wel l known i n spi te of the
tremendous i mportance of com
mercial and recreati onal fshi ng.
I n this Gui de we general l y fol l ow
the sci enti fc practi ce of usi ng the
pl ural form "fshes" to i mply di
versity of ki nds, and the pl ural
form "fsh" in a more quantitative
Experts esti mate that there are
about 30,000 speci es of fshes.
Some species have worl d-wi de
di stri buti on; some are li mited to
a si ngl e l ake or stream. About
4,000 speci es are l i sted for North
Ameri can waters. Fl ori da records
about 1 00 fresh- and 600 sal t
water fshes; southern Cal iforni a,
about 400. Many fshes l ive onl y
i n fresh water; many are mari ne;
and a few di vi de thei r l ives i n be
tween. Some prefer bracki sh wa
ter, where rivers mi ngl e wi th the
ocean. Some speci es l ive onl y in
col d water; others in warm.
Salmon - hatche
in fresh water, lives in salt
NAMES OF FI SHES are often confusi ng. Both the popu
l ar names and the sci enti fi c names ( pp. 1 54- 1 57) used i n
OF FISHES and i ts suppl ements, prepared by the Ameri can
Fi sheri es Soci ety. Wi der use of these preferred names,
whi ch stress proper fami l y rel ati onshi ps, wi l l tend to reduce
mi sunderstandi ngs about names of fi shes .
ADAPTATI ONS of fi shes are as i ntri gui ng as the fi shes
themsel ves. Swi mmi ng i s characteri sti c of al l fi shes . Sea
robi ns and a few others can al so crawl al ong the bottom
wi th the ai d of unusual fi ns. A number of fi shes burrow i n
sand or mud; fl yi ngfi shes gl i de consi derabl e di stances i n
the ai r; eel s mi grate through wet grass; and Cl i mbi ng Perch
creep from pond to pond across the mud.
Fi shes do not see very wel l , partl y because of thei r eye
structure and partl y because, as one goes deeper in water,
the l i ght grows di mmer. Bel ow 1 , 500 ft. fi shes l i ve i n
darkness . Fi shes have, however, a wel l -devel oped sense of
bal ance and of taste. Some have an excel l ent sense of
touch al so, thi s bei ng ai ded by sensi ti ve feel ers (barbel s)
near the mouth . Fishes can hear; they are sensi ti ve to
vibrati ons, currents, and changes
i n temperature and pressure.
low-frequency vi brati ons are
detected by organs in the l ateral
l i nes at thei r si des.
operculum lateralli ne
spiny dorsal fin
ventral fins
tail fin
PARTS OF FI SHES have di sti nct, preci se names . Use
them i n i denti fyi ng a fi sh . The fi sh pi ctured above i s a
typi cal bony fi sh (sharks, pp. 20-28, are somewhat di ffer
ent) . Fi shes have two sets of pai red fi ns, the pectoral and
the pel vic or ventral , correspondi ng to our arms and l egs.
They al so have three unpai red fi ns: t he dorsal or back; the
caudal , or tai l ; and the anal . These di ffer i n si ze and shape
from fi sh to fi sh. An opercul um covers the gi l l s except i n
the shark and i ts rel ati ves . Nostri l s usual l y have two open
i ngs on .each si de. More hi ghl y devel oped fi shes have a
urogeni tal -tract openi ng separate from the anus. The ears
have no external openi ngs.
The scal es ( p. 1 2) on most bony fi shes are often i m
portant i n i denti fi cati on, because the number of rows of
scal es i s constant for a speci es. The fi ns, used for bal
ance and movement, are i mportant, too. Thei r rays may
be spi ny or soft and branched . The dorsal fi n often has
two parts : the fi rst, spi ny, and the second, soft . The
number of rays or spi nes i n a fi n counts i n i denti fi cati on .
I NTERNAL STRUCTURES of fshes set the pattern for
al l vertebrates. Bony fshes usual l y have four pai rs of gi l l s.
Water passes through the mouth and over the gi l l s, giv
ing up some of the oxygen dissol ved i n it. The swi m bl ad
ders of some fshes hel p i n breathi ng. A two-chambered
heart and a si mpl e system of veins and arteries ci rculate
the bl ood, whi ch carri es oxygen and di gested food. Fi shes
usual l y have l arge mouths and teeth suited for grasp
i ng, teari ng, or gri ndi ng. Food passes through a di gestive
tube and, with the aid of accessory gl ands, i s converted
i nto sol ubl e form in the stomach and i ntesti nes. Di gestive
wastes are el i mi nated through the anus, and ki dneys
extract uri ne from the bl ood.
The head of fshes contai ns a brai n si mpl er than, yet
si mi l ar to, brai ns of other vertebrates. From it a spi nal
cord travel s t he l ength of t he body, protected by the
backbone. The skel eton of fshes i s compl ex
with many
smal l bones (as any di ner on fsh wel l knows). The eggs
of the femal e and the sperm or mi l t of the mal e are usual l y
di scharged i nto the water, where the eggs are ferti l i zed
and the young devel op.
spinal cord
(those that can live and feed
well above the bottom)
Barracuda (I I
Halfbeak (2)
Mackerel (3)
(those that live and feed
at or near the bottom)
Stingray (I I
Bonefish (2)
Catfish (3)
Sea rabin
Spiny Dogfish
FI SH AND WATER are i nsepar
abl e. The rel ati onshi p i s qui te
compl ex, for condi ti ons of the
water go far i n determi ni ng the
fi sh popul ati on . Some physi cal
factors that affect fi shes are tem
perature, depth {pressure), sal i n
i ty, turbi di ty ( undi ssolved sol i ds) ,
and the amount of di ssol ved oxy
gen . More oxygen, for exampl e,
di ssol ves i n col d water than i n
warm water, and hence fi shes such
as trout, whi ch need much oxy
gen, requi re col der water.
MI GRATI ONS ar e c ommon.
Commerci al and sport fi shermen
often depend on these movements
to get bi gger catches . Mi grati ons
may be from fresh to sal t water or
vi ce versa, toward or away from
the surface, or north and south .
Data on fish mi grati ons are needed
badl y; anyone who fi nds a tagged
fi sh shoul d report i t to the proper
authori ti es.
SHAPES of fshes usual l y have
the streaml i ned pattern whi ch i s
so efci ent i n the water. Mammal s
such as whal es and dol phi ns that
have returned to l ife i n the seas
have devel oped a si mi l ar form.
Man uses streaml i ni ng i n shi ps
and submari nes. Members of the
mackerel fami l y ofer the best ex
ampl es of streaml i ned fsh form.
Fi shes show a great range of
departures from the streaml i ned
shape. These many departures
range al l the way from the thi n,
al most ropel i ke eel s to the tri an
gul ar cowfsh and the very fat
tened founders. Each of these
represents an adaptation to a
speci fc way of l ife whi ch puts a
premi um on somethi ng other than
fast swi mmi ng. Fl ounders, for ex
ampl e, lie neatl y camoufaged
on the bottom, awai ti ng shri mp,
other crustaceans, and smal l fshes
on whi ch they feed.
placoid scales
ganoid scales
cycloid scales
ctenoid scales
tail of sharks and sturgeon
scal el ess when hatched, but most
devel op scal es the frst year. Some
fshes have rough scal es wi th
combl i ke edges (ctenoi d scal es);
others have smooth (cycl oi d)
scal es. Scal es of pri mitive fshes
are heavy and pl atel i ke ( ganoid);
those of sharks are toothl ike ( pl ac
oi d). Scal es grow from pockets i n
the ski n, growth bei ng marked by
ri ngs. I n wi nter, growth i s usual l y
l ess and ri ngs are cl oser together,
formi ng an annul us or annual
r i ng. The number of these ri ngs
tel l s the age of a fsh.
Tai l s refect changes that have
taken pl ace through the ages. I n
sharks, as i n earl y fossil fshes, the
upper part of the tai l , contai ni ng
the backbone, extends t o a poi nt.
I n modern bony fshes, the tai l is
more bal anced and the backbone
ends where the tail begins.
tail of most bony fshes
FI SHI NG wi l l l ong remai n an i mportant i ndustry, for fi sh
are among the l east expl oi ted of al l the ani mal s of di rect
use to man. About 83 mi l l i on tons of fi sh are taken an
nual l y, and thi s harvest coul d be greatl y i ncreased. Nearl y
98% of the fi sh harvest i s taken i n the northern hemi
sphere, about equal l y di vi ded between the Atl anti c and
the Paci fi c . Some 50 speci es provi de the bul k of commer
ci al catches . Many other fi shes that are edi bl e or otherwi se
useful are not taken . I n the United States al one, fi sheri es
represent a 46-bi l l i on-dol l ar i ndustry.
The oceans, whi ch cover nearl y three-quarters of the
gl obe, contai n far more pl ant l i fe than i s found on l and.
These l i mi tl ess mi l es of "pasture"-mai nl y mi croscopic pl ants
(phytopl ankton)-support many mi l l i ons of mi nute ani mal s
(zoopl ankton) whi ch, i n t urn, are food f or fi shes.
FI SHES AS WI LDLI FE pl ay an i mportant part i n the
natural envi ronment. Oceans, l akes, and ri ver
s have thei r
own natural communi ti es of pl ant and ani mal l i fe that i n
cl ude fi shes. Fi shes serve as food for many vertebrates.
Shore and ocean bi rds probabl y consume much more than
man. Fi shes as wi l dl ife furni sh unparal l el ed sport for mi l
li ons . No other sport has so many parti ci pants .
CONSERVATI ON is of growi ng i mportance to the worl d's
fi shes, even though they are so pl enti ful i n numbers . The
mai n peri l to fi shes i s not the fi sherman and hi s catch but
the wastes of ci ti es and i ndustri es, and resul ts of poor
farmi ng. Water pol l uti on, by sewage and i ndustri al wastes,
is a bi g probl em in i nl and waters and in some bays and
harbors. I t may soon prove a threat to the oceans them
sel ves. The i ncreased erosi on on farml and has si l ted and
muddi ed nearby streams, destroyi ng the fi sh i n them. I f
you are i nterested i n fi shes, conservati on-the wi se use of
al l our natural resources-i s your probl em, too.
1 4


1 "



FISHES-the oldest maj or group of vertebrates-go back
nearly a half-bil lion years. Fossi lized fish bones and
scales have been found in rocks 400 milli on years old .
The Devoni an period ( about 350 mill ion years ago) has
been called the Age of Fishes because of the plentiful
fsh remai ns found in rocks of both oceani c and fresh
water ori gi n. Some fishes have survived ti l l today wi th
scarcel y a change. Many others have become exti nct.
Sti l l others have given rise to new groups. The chart shows
the fami l y tree and evol ution of fshes.
There is much that you can d o with fishes besi des fishing,
and even thi s l eading sport is enhanced by a knowl edge
of fishes and t heir habits . Research conducted by uni
versities, by museums, and by government agencies con
ti nual l y reveal s new and i mportant facts about fi shes.
You t oo can contribute to t his fi el d of knowl edge.
FI E LD STUDI E S Any trai ned observer can contri bute
to our knowl edge about fishes. life histor ies of many
species are sti l l unknown. Much can sti l l be l earned about
the behavi or of common, easi l y observed speci es, but
observat i ons must be systemati c and persistent to be
worthwhi l e. Bi nocul ars often hel p. Make a "water gl ass"
or use a mask as a next step. later you may want to
go under water (wi th s uitabl e equi pment) for di rect
observat i on .
TANK STUDI E S in aquaria may enabl e you to make
observat i ons that woul d otherwise be i mpossibl e. For
fresh-water aquar ia, use water from a pond, stream, or
wel l . Add ampl e water pl ants, and do not overfeed the
fish . Sal t -water aquar ia are more difficul t . The water
shoul d be ci r cul ated and aerated by pumpi ng . First, try
onl y a few fi shes in a l arge tank; then add eel grass or
other pl ants, and a few inver tebrates. Several trial s may
fi s hes c an be done i n
aquari a or speci al gl ass
tanks that l i mi t the speci
men's movements . Photography i s ri ch and rewar di ng,
especi al l y wi t h smal l , br i ght l y col ored fi shes of warmer
waters. The use of col or, wi th the newer, faster fi l ms ,
can add much t o your pi ctures of fi shes . Fl as h or photo
fl ood l i ght i ng i s necessary i ndoors. Keep your eyes open
for tel l i ng detai l s .
SKI N DI VI NG opens new vi stas for studyi ng fi shes i n
thei r natural envi ronment. Surface and underwater ob
servi ng can be as thri l l i ng as hunt i ng . But t ake t i me t o
devel op t he necessary ski l l ; l earn to wor k safel y and
unhurri edl y to get t he best resul ts .
COLLECTI NG for sci enti fi c study is somethi ng qui te
di fferent from fi shi ng for sport or food . Maki ng a col l ec
ti on of fi shes i s not as easy as col l ecti ng shel l s or fl owers.
The mount i ng of l arge speci mens for exhi bi t cal l s for a
ski l l ed taxi dermi st . Smal l er speci mens for study can be
preserved i n al cohol ( rubbi ng al cohol wi l l do), but it i s
desi rabl e fi rst to f i x t hem i n a 10% sol ut i on of formal i n .
I nj ect preservi ng fl ui d i nto t h e body cavi ty of l arger fi s h,
or s l i t open t he abdomen . Preserved fi shes l ose thei r
col or, but you can study ot her characteri sti cs at l ei sure.
DETAI LED I DENTI FICATI ON of fshes depends on
characteristics which may l ook mi nor and unimportant to
the uni nitiated-structure of teeth, posi ti on and si ze of
fns, shape of tai l , type of scal es, and the l i ke. For such
i denti fcati on, actual possessi on of a fresh or preserved
speci men is essenti al . So is experience in observi ng criti
cal points and in usi ng keys and reference books. Fi rst
become fami l i ar with the anatomy of fshes (pp. 8-9) .
Then, starting with fshes you know, use the keys found
i n t he books l isted on p. 1 53 until you feel sure of your
methods. Fi nal l y try fshes with whi ch you ar e not fami l iar.
SPECIAL STUDIES of fshes bri ng you to the border of
sci enti fc research. A good deal has been and can be
done by amateurs. First, use thi s book to l earn to i dentify
common fshes. Then make a more systematic study of the
fshes of your regi on. Begin to observe how fshes l ive,
and by that ti me you wi l l di scover there i s much of i nter
est and i mportance whi ch is not yet in books. From thi s
to research i s but a short step.
LAMPREYS and HAGF I SHES bel ong to a cl ass sep
arate from true fi shes. Both l ack j aws, but use thei r
sucki ng mouths and raspi ng tongues to eat i nto the fl esh
of fi sh they attack. lampreys, now a menace i n the Great
lakes, spawn i n tri butary streams , l ayi ng thei r eggs i n a
shal l ow nest . Burrowi ng young remai n i n the streams
about 3 years before returni ng to l akes or t he sea. Some
speci es grow 2 to 3 ft . l ong . Hagfi shes or Sl i me Eel s ,
bl i nd and s l i my, are common mari ne pests and scaven
gers i n water over 1 00 ft . deep. They eat dead fi sh and
those trapped i n net s.
SHARKS and RAYS compri se one of the two groups of
true fi shes . The other is the bony fi shes . Sharks and rays
are pri mi ti ve; some of them have changed l i t t l e i n 1 00
mi l l i on years . Sharks and rays have no bones; t hei r skel -
etons are of cart i l age, hardened by l i me. They have
smal l , toothl i ke ( pl acoi d) scal es, and gi l l s covered by
several paral l el s l i ts . Of about 1 50 Nort h Ameri can
speci es, al l are mari ne; a few i nvade fresh water.
Shark Teeth Hammerhead Shark Teeth
at the ends of fl attened exten
sions of its skul l . This warm-water
shark grows over 1 2 ft. long, may
weigh over 1 , 000 lb. It lives near
the surface, feeding on other
fishes .
SPI NY DOGFI SH, a common pest
of fishermen , grows to 4 ft. As in
other sharks, female is l arger than
mal e. Eggs devel op inside fe
mal e; 2 to 1 1 young are born
al ive. Found in Atl antic and
Pacific .
SANDBAR SHARK, c ommon ,
grows t o about 8 f t . Rel ated to
Tiger and Blue Sharks, both re
puted "man-eaters . " Found from
the tropics north to New Eng
l and, east into the Mediterra
nean. Feeds on bottom fishes .
NURSE SHARK is a l arge (6 to 1 0
f t . ) . s l uggi s h s h ar k o f war m
waters. A l azy scavenger, i t is
often found in shal l ows al ong
Fl orida shores. I t has a short,
bl unt head; smal l teeth and eyes.
TI GER SHARK, 1 4 f t . or more,
streaml i ned, prefers worm surface
waters. Feeds on oil ki nds of sea
l i fe, i ncl udi ng other sharks and
rays. Notched sow-teet h, si mi l ar
i n bot h jaws. Young born ol i ve;
browner than adul ts; spot ted.
THRESHER SHARK, on unusual
shark, hos a l ong t oi l whi ch i t
threshes bock and f ort h i n school s
of smal l fi sh when feedi ng. Found
i n worm or temperate waters, the
Thresher grows to 20 ft . , over
1 , 000 lb. Shark i s good eati ng;
the Thresher especi al l y so.
WHI TE SHARK, a tropi cal man
eater, grows wel l over 30 f t . Most
often seen offshore. I t feeds on
seal s and many ki nds of fi shes .
Young ore born ol i ve. There i s
l i ttl e danger f rom sharks i n tem
perate coastal waters .
SOUPFI N SHARK is hi ghl y prized
by Asi ans as food . I t has been
prized on the Paci fi c Coast, too,
for i ts l i ver, ri ch i n vi tami n A.
Possi bly because of over-fi shi ng,
Soupfi ns ore now rare. Grows
about 6ft . l ong; wei ght to 1 00 l b.
WHALE SHARKS are the l argest of al l fshes. Fi rst
discovered in 1 828, they remained a mystery for some
ti me. Now known i n al l warmer seas, Whal e Sharks grow
45 ft. l ong, perhaps l onger, and may wei gh as much as
1 5 tons. A 38-ft. speci men captured near Fl ori da showed
the disti nctive checkered and spotted pattern that marks
Whal e Sharks. These huge, harml ess sharks swim cl ose to
the surface and feed by straini ng smal l sea animal s out
of the water much the same way as Bal een Whal es. They
have numerous, very smal l teeth in both j aws. Not much
is known of the l ife hi story of these monsters. Young are
hatched from eggs. Cl osel y rel ated to the Whal e Shark
is the sl ightl y smal l er Baski ng Shark, whi ch has si milar
feeding habits. I t l ives i n cool er waters and l acks the
Whal e Shark' s markings. Neither shark is common.
ATLANTI C MANTA is the l argest ray and the subj ect
of some of the biggest fish fabl es. Despite its l arge si ze
( it may be more than 20 f t . across and wei gh wel l over a
ton) , it is not a dangerous fis h, but feeds on crustaceans
and smal l ocean l ife somewhat as the Whal e Shar k does.
I ts teeth ar e ver y smal l -perhaps usel ess . Most r ays l ive
at the bottom, but t his one prefers the s urface, often
baski ng wi th its huge "wi ngs" barel y awas h. Mantas ,
apparentl y in pl ay, l eap compl etel y i nto t he air, fal l ing
back i nto the water with a thundering s l ap. They are
found widel y in warmer waters and are common in the
Gul f Stream. The fl esh is good eati ng and is someti mes
used as food . The har ml ess Manta is considered a sport
fish in southern waters . I t puts up a game fight when
harpooned .
BARNDOOR SKATE, one of the
l argest (up to 5 ft. l ong), i s gen
erally found i n water over 100 ft.
deep al ong the Atl anti c coast as
far north as Nova Scoti a. I t has a
pointed snout and a smooth ski n.
Food consists of bottom fsh, crabs,
and possibly shel l fsh. The egg
case is large and greeni sh brown.
found empty on almost every
beach. Skates lay eggs, each i n a
horny contai ner, nearly al l year
round. They hatch in 5 to 6
months, dependi ng on water tem
perature. Egg cases vary i n size
from 1' by 3 i n. (exclusive of the
horns) to over twi ce as bi g.
LITTLE SKATE, a fsh of northern
Atl antic waters, i s found from the
shore l i ne down to depths of 300
ft. or more. Li ke all skates, it is
a bottom feeder, livi ng mai nly on
crustaceans. I dentify it by its more
rounded nose and the absence of
spi nes on its back. Length to 20
in. "Wings" make good eati ng.
TORPEDO i s a tropical ray. This
squat, stubby fsh has cells in its
head which generate an el ectric
current strong enough to gi ve a
severe shock. Usually under 3 ft.
l ang-occasionally much l arger.
A si mi lar species lives in the Pa
cifc, and one other small electric
ray occurs of Flori da.
eral si mi l ar speci es of l arge rays
(Sti ngarees) found i n warm waters
have whipl i ke tai l s l onger than
thei r bodi es, wi th a l ong sti nger
whi ch can i nfl i ct pai nful wounds.
These rays, of the Dasyatis group,
may grow up to 7ft . l ong. Thi s
sti ngray and i ts ki n are di amond
shaped; they frequent shal l ow
of them) , l ocated part way down
the whi plike tai l , mark most rays.
They are sharpl y toothed, bony,
and poi sonous, causi ng pai nful
wound s . If i n jur ed , s queeze
wound and soak in hot water.
Guard agai nst i nfection. See a
doctor unl ess heal i ng is prompt.
wi th scattered yel l owi sh spots.
These smal l rays (up to 24 i n . ) are
common i n shal l ow waters and are
feared by swi mmers because of
their "stinger. " Unl i ke skates, the
young of rays are born al i ve. They
bear from 2 to 8 young.
very broad ray with a very short
t a i l and an a l mos t t r i an gul ar
shape. The three speci es of But
terfl y Rays all prefer warmer
water, but are found as far north
as Cape Cod on the Atl anti c
coast. Common in bays and other
shal l ow areas; wi dth up to 6 It .
roy found i n wormer waters . I t di ffers
from other rays i n that i t often ascends
ri vers . The nose i s modi fi ed i nt o a fl at
tened, hard sow wi th from 1 6 to 32 pai rs
of "teeth" al ong the edges, dependi ng on
the speci es. The young of Sawfi sh ore
born ol i ve, l i ke other rays , but the ti ny
sow of the young i s covered wi th a sheath
whi ch i s shed soon after bi rt h . Sawfi s h
hove reached over 20 ft . i n l engt h and
over l , 200 l b. in weight . They feed i n
shal l ow water on smal l fi s h, which they
sl osh wi th thei r sows . Young Sawfi sh ore
tasty but ore not often eaten . Do not
confuse wi th Swordfi sh (p. 90) .
GUI TARF I SHE S ore i ntermedi ate be
tween sharks and rays . They l ock the
Sawfi sh's weapon but ore general l y s i mi
l or. Average l ength i s about 2 f t .
CHI MAERAS and RATFI SHES represent a smal l but
i nterest i ng group of fi shes i ntermedi ate between the
sharks and bony fi shes. Thei r skel etons are s i mi l ar to
those of sharks. They have onl y a s i ngl e gi l l openi ng,
l i ke the bony fi shes, but t he gi l l cover i s not bony.
Chi maeras and Ratfi shes are wor l dwi de, mai nl y i n deep
water. The Atl anti c Chi maeras ar e up t o 3 ft. l ong.
Ratfi shes are found i n the Gul f of Mexi co and i n the
Paci fi c, where they range nort h to Al aska. One Paci fi c
speci es enters s hal l ow water. Ratfi shes l ay eggs i n ri dged
capsul es somethi ng l i ke t hose of skates . The back s pi nes
are reportedl y poi sonous. Mal e Ratfi shes and Chi mae
ras have a sharp-spi ned, cl ubl i ke growth between the
eyes and reproducti ve or gans at tached to t he pel vi c fi ns.
THE BONY FI SHES ore the most recent, best known, and
most wi del y distri buted fshes. They form t he l argest cl ass
of bockboned ani mal s-about 30,000 species. Si nce they
ore so vari abl e, common characteristics ore hard to si ngl e
out; some of these ore given on the faci ng page.
Bony fi shes may be fl at , round, or di storted . Scal es
or fi ns may be reduced or absent . The s i ngl e pai r of gi l l
openi ngs has bony cover i ngs . The l argest fi sh i s the
Whal e Shark; the s mal l est i s a goby l ess than an i nch
l ong .
STURGEONS Atl anti c Sturgeon resembl es the famed
European speci es; the bl ack eggs of the femal e make
fi ne cavi ar. These are fi shes of anci ent l i neage {pp. 30-3 1 ),
with sti ff bony pl ates and primi ti ve tail s . They swi m al ong
the bottom wi th chi n barbel s j ust touchi ng the sand. When
these sensiti ve feel ers touch smal l ani mal s , the sturgeon
shoots out i ts tubul ar mouth and sucks i n i ts di nner. Other
North Ameri can sturgeons i ncl ude smal l er lake Sturgeon
( 2 ft . ) , Shovel nose Sturgeon, and Whi te Sturgeon of the
West Coast. Thi s and the Atl anti c Sturgeon grow to over
1 0 ft. The Paddl efi sh, a fresh-water rel ati ve, has become
rare i n recent years.
GARS, l ike sturgeons, are
fshes of an Ameri can famil y
which was wi despread in
ancient times. Al l prefer
warm water, where they
prey on other Ameri can
fshes; they have a l ung- l ike
swim bl adder that suppl e
ments the gi l l s i n the ab
sorption of oxygen in sum
mer when the suppl y in the
water is l ow. Mi l t and roe of
gars are poisonous (as is
true of several other fshes).
Gars are active, armored,
and not easi l y caught. Some
times "gar- rodeos" are hel d to capture gars by wire snares.
The Shortnose Gar occurs l ess commonl y in brackish water
of bays than the Longnose, Spotted, and Al l i gator Gars.
Al l i nhabit fresh-water rivers and l akes of the Mi ssissippi
basi n. The Al l i gator Gar (4 to 6 ft.) is the l argest.
TARPON, LADYFI SH, and BONE F I SH represent
three speci es s i mi l ar to the herri ngs (pp. 36-40) . Al l are
favori tes of sportsmen, but once caught, these bony
fi shes are usual l y turned l oose to fi ght agai n. And they
are terri fi c fi ghters, as enthusi asts wi l l testi fy.
Tarpo n, famous for its spectacul ar l eaps, is l argest and
best known, averagi ng about 4 ft . l ong and 60 l b. ,
though occasi onal l y much l arger and heavi er. Tarpon
has a bl ue-gray back, shadi ng i nto bri ght si l ver on the
sides, wi th an occasi onal touch of yel l ow on the fi ns . I t
has a l ong, trai l i ng dorsal fi n; coarse scal es, somet i mes
over an i nch across; and a l arge mouth wi th mi nute teet h.
Tarpon come i nto shal l ow water and up i nto ri vers to
feed on smal l er fi s h. Found onl y in summer in the north
ern part of i ts range.
Ladyfi sh, someti mes known as Ten- Pounder, i s smal l er
t han Tarpon but l ike i t has a bony pl ate under t he throat.
I t, too, prefers bays, i nl ets, and mouths of ri vers, and i s
val ued mor e as game t han as a food fi s h. Prefers warmer
water s. A l 0- l b. Ladyfi sh i s l arge; 2 or 3 l b. i s the more
usual wei ght . Has a s i mi l ar rel ati ve i n the warmer waters
of the Paci fi c.
Bonefi sh i s the l ast of these si l ver-si ded game fi shes .
Thi s one al so prefers shal l ow water i n grass beds and
i nl ets but does not ascend ri vers. Bonefi sh have mouths
that open downwar d, i ndi cati ng bottom feedi ng . They
l i ve on crabs and mol l usks, and are general l y caught
wi th l i ve bai t , such as shri mp. The sportsman may take
hours to l ocate Bonefi sh and hours more to hook one
before he enj oys the t hr i l l of the fi ght .
HERRI NG FAMILY incl udes fshes with compressed
bodies taperi ng to a sharp keel . Fins are without spines,
and the pel vic fns are on the abdomen. The tail i s forked
and there is no adipose fn. Herri ng are abundant, a
prime food of predaceous fshes, and comprise more of
the commercial catch than al l other famil ies combi ned.
ALEWI FE, a member of the herri ng famil y, si mi l ar to
Shad, was once very common and is sti l l of commercial
importance. These prolifc fsh (sometimes cal l ed Branch
Herring) l ive i n coastal waters. They move up rivers
to spawn i n spring j ust before the Shad. Young remai n
in the rivers til l fal l . Then, 2 to 4 i n. l ong, they swim
back to sea, where they grow to about 1 0 to 1 2 i n.
(maximum, 1 5 i n. ) and to a weight of 1 l b. Al ewife are
caught in nets as they move upstream, and are sol d as
herring. They are used for oil and i n feed products.
The Hickory Shad, a more southern species, is simil ar,
but has a more tapering head and a thicker body.
AMERI CAN SHAD, ari stocrat of the herri ngs, has a
l i fe hi story si mi l ar to the Al ewife' s. It too is netted as
it ascends ri vers to spawn. But it i s a l arger, more tasty
fsh, pri zed as a tabl e del icacy. Shad average under
2 ft. l ong and about 4 l b. i n wei ght, though they may
grow more than twice as heavy. Shad was one of the
frst fshes to be artifci al l y propagated. I ntroduced al ong
the Paci fc i n 1 870, Shad soon became a commercial
fsh. I t was once abundant al l al ong the Atl antic, but
tream pol l uti on has cut the catch to l ess than one-ffth
of its past average. Now, under good management, Shad
are returni ng to some of the eastern ri vers.
PACI F I C SARDI NES, often cal l ed Pi l chards or Cal i for
ni a Sardi nes, are most fami l i ar i n cans . Whatever thei r
name, these members of the herri ng fami l y are one of
our i mportant commerci al fi shes . Over hal f a mi l l i on tons
are caught annual l y, most of the catch goi ng di rect l y
i nto canned fi sh and i ndustri al products . Paci fi c Sardi nes
are a fi sh of open seas , movi ng i n great school s . Speci al
sardi ne boats wi t h gi ant purse sei nes haul i n t he catch.
The young move cl oser t o shore t o feed on pl ankton . As
they mature they move seaward agai n, and i n one to
three years grow 7 to 1 0 i nches l ong. They may l i ve as
l ong as t en years.
Paci fi c Sardi ne young are pri zed as bai t fi s h. The
Paci fi c tuna boats use mi l l i ons of pounds yearl y as bai t
i n tuna fi shi ng .
Setti ng purse sei ne over si de of The purse s ei ne sets around a
trawl er. Ski ff acts as a drag. school of sardi nes.
ATLANTI C MENHADEN or Mossbunker is an i mpor
tant commerci al fi sh, though rarel y used as food. Oi l
from them i s used i n chemi cal i ndustri es; Menhaden fi sh
meal goes i nto many prepared foods for ani mal s . Men
haden are open-water fi sh found al l al ong the Atl anti c.
Though common, not much i s known about them. Most
are caught i n the fal l when l arge school s move south
ward, to ret urn agai n the next spri ng. The school s swi m
cl ose t o the surface and ar e recogni zed at a di stance by
the gul l s hoveri ng above and feedi ng on them. large
numbers of young fi nd thei r way i nto bays and i nl ets,
where they feed and grow up to 5 or 6 i n. the fi rst year.
I n three years the Menhaden are mature. By that t i me
they are 8 to 1 0 i n. l ong and wei gh V2 l b. They occasi on
al l y grow up to 1 8 i n. The Gul f Menhaden i s very s i mi l ar.
The sei ne i s shut and most of the
net haul ed aboard.
Fi sh are bailed out . Part of the
sei ne remai ns i n the water.
HE RRI NG are more famous i n Europe t han i n thi s coun
try, yet are i mportant food fi sh of our At l ant i c and
Paci fi c fi sheri es . The At l anti c and Paci fi c Herri ng are
di fferent subspeci es, but qui te si mi l ar i n appearance and
habi ts . Bot h l i ve i n l arge school s, feedi ng on pl ankton .
I n fal l they move toward shore to spawn; femal es l ay
about 30, 000 eggs each . The young st ay near shore
and, i n New Eng l and, are caught i n wei rs at t hi s peri od .
Young Herri ng form the New Eng l and "sardi ne" catch .
Herri ng mature i n three years and are then about 1 0 i n .
l ong; they may grow up t o 1 8 i n . A number of other
members of the herri ng fami l y i ncl ude the Gi zzard Shad
(wi th a tough, muscul ar stomach) and the Thread Her
ri ng, a more southern fi sh wi th a thread- l i ke extensi on
of i ts dorsal fi n, l i ke the Tarpon's .
ANCHOVI ES ore smal l fsh, cl osel y rel ated to herri ng,
common al ong both coasts. On the Atl anti c, the com
monest speci es rarel y venture north of Cope Cod. An
chovies ore caught the enti re l ength of our Paci fc shore
l i ne, but ore more pl enti ful to the south. Not very much
is known about thei r habits, but the Paci fc speci es is nu
merous and i s a commercial fshi ng resource. Anchovi es
ore gregari ous, often travel ing i n Iorge school s.
The characteristics of the fami l y i ncl ude abdomi nal
pel vi c fns and a si ngl e smal l dorsal fn. Anchovi es l ock
scal es on thei r heads and do not hove a l ateral l i ne. The
l ower j aw i s distinctive.
Bay Anchovy of the Atl antic (3 to 4 in. l ong) has a
Iorge, gapi ng mouth. Note its Iorge scal es and deeply
forked toi l .
Northern Anchovy
Northern Anchovy, a common and abundant Paci fc
speci es, is l arger (up to 9 i n.). It spawns throughout the
year. One form l i ves i n bracki sh water. Anchovi es feed
on copepods and other plankton. They ore, i n turn, food
for many pel agi c or open-sea fshes.
SALMON and trout form a fami l y renowned as food and
game fsh. The Paci fc sal mon ( at l east si x species) are
best known, bei ng the basi s of a 38- mi l l i on- dol l ar
i ndustry. Mature mal es difer from other sal mon and trout
i n havi ng both j aws hooked. Al l have a l arge number of
rays ( 1 4 to 1 7) i n the anal fn. Sal mon have an extra fatty
(adi pose) fn on the back near the tai l . Pacifc sal mon
breed i n rivers; young return to the sea to mature. The
annual runs of breedi ng sal mon at the mouths of streams
cl i max a most unusual mi gration cycl e.
CHI NOOK or Ki ng Sal mon is the
l argest sal mon, reachi ng 100 l b.
and averagi ng about 25. Found
north from Monterey Bay, i t mi
grates far up the l arger rivers ta
breed, mai nl y in spri ng or fal l .
The Chi nook, l i ke others, vari es i n
color with age, sex, and season.
CHUM or Dog Sal mon, smal l er
than Chi nook, has a Ianger head.
I t spawns closer to the mouths of
rivers and so has not been too
badly afected by dams. Length,
about 18 in.; wei ght, 10 to 20
l b. Occurs north af Sacramento
River to Al aska.
PINK or Humpback Sal mon may
be found farther south than
others. I ts mi gration i s short;
spawni ng is done withi n a few
mi l es upstream. Thi s pi nk-feshed
sal mon i s one of the smal ler spe
ci es (5 to 7 l b. ). The mal e, before
spawni ng, devel ops a hump on its
back and twisted haoked jaws.
COHO or Si lver Sal mon is an
other smal ler species ( 5 t o 8 l b.)
found from Monterey north, and
common around Puget Sound. I t
does not spawn as f ar upstream
as the Chi nook. The sil very mal es
become red in spawni ng season.
Alevin: just
hatched; after
5 Ia 6 months
SOCKEYE or Red Sal mon is pr i zed for i ts
deep red fl esh of excel l ent fl avor. Found north
of Monterey, i t i s a smal l er sal mon, averagi ng
5 to 6 1b. , occasi onal l y twi ce that . It has been
i ntroduced i nto New Engl and and has al so
become a l andl ocked speci es in a few l akes .
The Sockeye i l l ustrates the remarkabl e col or
change the mal e undergoes dur i ng the breed
i ng season. The adul ts di e after spawni ng far
upstream. The fer t i l i zed eggs, after passi ng
through vari ous stages si mi l ar to thdse i l l us
trated bel ow, devel op i nto fi nger l i ngs, whi ch
fi nd thei r way to the sea.
Alevin: yolk sac ie
in about 6 weeks
Parr: feeds and swims
freely-about 2 years
Parr becomes smolt as it
begins journey ta the sea
ATLANTI C SALMON, to some peopl e, is the game
fi s h. Once common i n New Engl and streams , i t has re
treated before dams and water pol l uti on. Usual l y a
good-si zed fi sh (average 8 to 1 2 l b. ) , it may exceed 50
l b. After two to four years at sea, an At l ant i c Sal mon
returns to the ri vers to spawn, but does not necessari l y
di e l i ke the Paci fi c sal mon. I t spawns i n fal l , wi th eggs
hatchi ng the fol l owi ng spri ng . The Sebago Sal mon i s a
smal l er, l and- l ocked form of the At l ant i c Sal mon; it
spawns i n the t ri butary streams of New Engl and l akes .
CUTTHROAT TROUT vari es in size
and cal ar. A gamy western
fi sh, i t sometimes mi grates Ia sea.
Averages 9 i n.
TROUT, cl ose rel atives of sal mon, general l y prefer fresh
water. Several species return to the sea, and then thei r
appearance often changes, causing sportsmen endl ess
confusion. The Brown Trout introduced from Europe does
better in warmer waters than our native species (bel ow).
I t is marked with l arge, l ight-bordered red spots; often
weighs 5 l b. Our native trout require col der water, espe
cial l y for spawni ng. They feed on i nsects, crustaceans,
and smal l er fsh. Trout are often raised i n hatcheri es and
rel eased in suitabl e fshing waters.
RAINBOW TROUT is a western
speci es with many local forms.
Transferred wi del y to colder east
ern streams and l akes, where it
does well. "Steelheads" are Rai n
bows whi ch go to sea. These large
trout average 2 to 5 lb. , may oc
casional l y reach 40 l b.
DOLLY VARDEN i s another west
ern trout whi ch may take to the
sea. Thi s one i s a voracious feed
er on young trout and so has a
mixed reputation. Dolly Vardens
are hardy and still plentiful . Like
Brook Trout, they have light
stri pes on the lower fns.
BROOK TROUT i s an eastern
trout that has been i ntroduced i nto
western streams. I t i s smaller than
the Dolly Yarde n but otherwise
l ooks si mi l ar. Marki ngs more mot
tled; fns have white edges.
Wei ght about 2 lb., rarely up to
10. Thri ves i n water below 50

LAKE TROUT are col d-water fsh
of l arger, deep l akes i n northern
U.S. and Canada; a commerci al
food fsh i n the Great Lakes and a
game fsh everywhere. Prefer
deep water in summer, shallow
water in fal l. They are the l argest
trout, average 6 lb.
Chief Needabah Bob Wi l son
Range of
Lake Whi tefi sh
THE WHI TE FI SH FAMI LY i ncl udes our most i mportant
i nl and food fi shes of northern waters . They are rel ated
to the sal mon but have l arger scal es and s mal l er mouths,
wi th few or no teeth . li ke sal mon, they have an adi pose
fi n near the tai l . Most are l ake fi sh . The vari ous members
of t hi s fami l y are not easy to di st i ngui sh wi thout detai l ed
study of nost r i l s , teeth, and gi l l rakers .
Lake Whi tefi sh are fai r l y l arge, averagi ng 22 i n .
an d 3V2 l b. ; a few have reached 20 l b. or more . The
l argest are i n lake Superi or, but whi tefi s h are found i n
al l the Great lakes and have been transpl anted to other
deep northern ones . lake Whi tefi sh feed on aquati c
i nsects and crustaceans . They prefer deep water except
when spawni ng i n fal l . The suppl y of these Whi tefi sh i s
badl y depl eted and the speci es i s threatened .
CI SCO or LAKE HERRI NG is not a
true herri ng but a whi tefi s h. I t
l i ves i n l arge school s near the sur
face, but often goes down a hun
dred feet or more. I n earl y wi nter
thi s Ci sco comes cl ose to shore to
spawn. The femal e lays her eggs
on the bottom i n water 25 ft. deep
or l ess . These Ci scos feed on
pl ankton, smal l crustaceans, and
i nsect s. They grow to 1 2 i n. l ong
and, next to the Lake Whi tefi sh,
are consi dered the best l ake spe
ci es for eati ng or smoki ng.
ARCTI C GRAYLI NG, not i n the
whi tefi sh fami l y, i s cl osel y re
l ated. I t i s marked by a l ong,
soft , dorsal fi n . Al t hough once
common i n the Great lakes, i t
now thrives onl y i n the upper Mi s
souri val l ey.
SHORTJAW CI SCOS are al most
as i mportant i n commerci al l ake
fi shi ng as Shal l ow-water Ci scos,
whi ch they cl osel y resembl e. They
too grow about 1 2 i n. long and
are abu n dan t i n deep wat er s
( mai nl y about 1 80 f t . ) of lake
Superi or and other l akes . Food
l i ke that of the Lake Whi tefi s h.
Spawns i n November.
ROUND WHI TEFI SH or Pi l otfi sh
i s a cl ose rel ati ve of the Lake
Whi tefi sh but di ffers from i t i n
having a rounder cross secti on and
a more deepl y col ored back. I ts
wei ght averages from 3 to 4 l b.
Found i n al l the Great lakes ex
cept Lake Eri e, i t ranges north
through the Canadi an l akes and
i n New Engl and. These once
common fi sh have now become
very scarce.
SMELTS show thei r rel ati onshi p to s al mon i n the short
adi pose fi n near the tai l . However, they are much smal l er,
averagi ng 7-9 i n . l ong ( rarel y over 1 ft . ) and wei ghi ng
about 6 oz. The Ameri can Smel t i s a s al t-water fi s h,
l i vi ng i n a narr ow bel t cl ose t o shore. I n spr i ng i t moves
up r i vers to spawn . Those that have been t r anspl anted
i nto the Great Lakes and others move i nto streams for
spr i ng spawni ng. At thi s ti me they are caught i n great
number s wi th nets, di pnets, and hooks .
Whi tebai t Smel t, or Whi tebai t , i s the best known of
sever al Paci fi c smel ts found i n abundance i n the waters
north of San Franci sco. The Candl efi s h, a very oi l y
speci es, was once used by I ndi ans as fue l . The Deep Sea
Smel t or Argent i ne, of a rel ated fami l y, i s a s l i ght l y
l arger fi sh wi th a smal l er mouth .
Hatchetfsh lanternfsh
LANTERNFI SH and about a dozen other smal l species
representi ng hal f a dozen fami l ies al l possess l umi nescent
organs whi ch make them shi ne i n the dark. Most of these
are fsh of the open ocean, l ivi ng at moderate depths
about 50 ft. They are someti mes responsi bl e for the
fashes of l i ght one sees around and bel ow shi ps at ni ght.
(But many other ki nds of l umi nescent ani mal s l ive i n the
sea besides these fsh. ) The Lanternfsh i s about 3 in. l ong;
other species are twice the si ze. They are found i n both
the Atl antic and the Pacifc. So are the smal l (up to 3 i n. )
Hatchetfsh; these thi n, l arge-eyed fsh have oversized
mouths and several rows of l i ght organs. Other l umi nescent
fshes i ncl ude the Vi perfsh and the Mi dshi pman ( p. 1 41 ) .
Hatchetfsh and lanternfsh i n t he black depths.
E E LS represent a l arge and unusual order of fi shes,
i ncl udi ng 1 3 fami l i es and about 1 40 North Ameri can
speci es. Common characteri sti cs are t hei r snakel ike
shape, l ack of spi nes i n the fi ns, and the absence of
ventral fi ns . Gi l l openi ngs are smal l ; and the ti ny scal es
when present are embedded i n the ski n and practi cal l y
i nvi s i bl e.
t he best known and one of the most myste
ri ous of fi shes . I ts l i fe hi story was pract i
cal l y unknown t i l l the 20th century, and
even now t he story i s f ar from compl ete.
Both the European and the Ameri can Eel
spawn i n the same deep wat ers south of
Bermuda. Mature adul ts come to thi s area
from both si des of the Atl anti c . The femal es
are prol i fi c; each l ays about ten mi l l i on
eggs . The adul ts probabl y di e af t er breed
i ng . The l ar vae-s ma l l , fl at t ened , and
transparent-begi n t o move toward thei r
home waters, and by the ti me they arri ve
they have begun to change i nto typi cal
eel s . Ski n col or devel ops and, about a year
after hatchi ng, the young are ready t o move
up bays i nt o ri vers, where they l i ve for
several years ti l l they mature.
Co nger Eel is a l arger speci es (4 to 7 f t .
l ong and wei ghi ng up to 25 l b. ) t han t he
Ameri can Eel . For i denti fi cat i on, note that
the Conger's upper j aw proj ects past the
l ower; the eye i s oval ; and the dorsal fi n
begi ns j ust about where the pectoral fi n
ends. Congers do not enter fresh water.
Thei r breedi ng ground i s uncertai n, but
young have been found i n the West I ndi es .
Other Ameri can eel s i ncl ude the tropi cal
Worm Eel s and t he Snake Eel s ( al so tropi
cal ) , s ome of whi ch ar e bri ght l y col ored .
These occur on the Paci fi c coast al so. Sev
eral other el ongate fi shes, such as the Cut
l assfi sh { page 1 ) not bel onging to t hi s or
der, are mi stakenl y cal l ed eel s .
MORAYS are tropical eel s com
mon i n coral reefs, occasi onal l y
occurri ng as f ar north as New
Jersey. These thi ck-ski nned eel s do
not have pai red fns. They have
strong jaws and sharp teeth, and
whi l e not dangerous when undi s
turbed, when cornered or caught
they can bi te vi ci ousl y, stri ki ng out
i n snake fashi on. Thei r bites may
l eave j agged, but not poi sonous,
wounds. Most feed at ni ght, prey
ing on smal l fsh. The Green Moray,
found from F l ori da southward, owes
its color to a mucus coveri ng. The
ski n itsel f i s gray. Someti mes the
green is repl aced by gray or brown.
Length, up to 6 ft. ; weight, to 30 l b.
The Spotted Moray is smal l er (3 ft. ) ,
more common, and variabl e i n col or
as shown i n the two speci mens here.
BUFFALOS i ntroduce the sucker fami l y, a group of
fresh-water bottom feeders. Of about 1 0 ki nds of
suckers, many are food fi sh. Bufal os are l arge, coarse,
and somewhat bony suckers, common i n ri vers and l akes
al l through the central states, where they rank hi ghest
among the commerci al speci es. look for them in quiet
or sl uggish water, where they feed on mol l usks, aquati c
i nsect l arvae, and water pl ants. The Bi gmouth Bufal o
may grow up to 4 ft. l ong, wei ghi ng 65 l b. , but i s usu
al l y much s mal l er. I t spawns from Apri l to June i n shal
l ow water; eggs hatch i n about 1 0 days. The mouth is
di rected forward rather than down, unl i ke the mouths
i n other bufa l os. The Smal l mouth Bufal o is a smal l er
fsh rarel y reachi ng 20 l b. The Bl ack Bufal o i s an i nter
mediate speci es, as regards both position of mouth and
depth of body.
top: Smallmouth Bufalo
OTHE R SUCKERS are wi despread i n r i vers and l akes
of the Mi ssi ssi ppi bas i n. Some are commerci al food fi sh;
some are so easi l y caught t hat ever y chi l d knows them.
HOG SUCKER grows to 2 f t . but
i s usual l y smal l er. Often seen
grubbi ng through pebbl es, wi th
i ts snout protruded, probi ng for
bottom l i fe. Prefers cl ear, fost
streams . Found from Al abama
and Okl ahoma northward to New
York and Mi nnesota .
QUI L L BACK an d R i ver Car p
sucker ar e both cal l ed Ameri can
Carp, though nei ther i s rel ated
to the carp (p. 57) . Both are wel l
known nati ve suckers, often net
ted i n l akes and ri vers. Qui l l
backs run to 5 or 6 l b.
WHI TE SUCKERS, though bony,
are netted as food fish because
of thei r fi rm, sweet fl esh . They
are vari abl e i n col or; fi ns become
red i n spri ng and mal es become
darker then, as these fi sh enter
smal l creeks to spawn . length: up
to 20 i n.
Shorthead Redhorse
a group of suckers with reddi sh
fi ns; the dorsal i s short . I t i s one
of the tasti est suckers, growi ng
to 2 f t . ; wei ghs 8 to 1 0 l b. Red
horses are coarse-scal ed; prefer
clear streams and l akes.
CARP are the l argest mi nnows-a bi g fami l y ( p. 58) i n
cl udi ng over 300 Ameri can species, mai nl y smal l , fresh
water fshes. The term "mi nnow" i s l oosel y used for many
smal l fshes. True mi nnows (fami l y Cyprinidae) are soft
rayed fshes with teeth i n the throat onl y. Carp were
brought to Europe from Asia and from Europe to Ameri ca
i n the 1 870' s and ' 80' s. Wi del y transpl anted, they are
now found from coast to coast i n l akes and sl ow streams.
Carp are bottom feeders, often muddyi ng the water
so much that aquati c pl ants cannot grow. However, Carp
are here to stay and have proved a val uabl e commerci al
fsh. They are occasional l y hooked, wi th doughbal l s as
the favorite bait, but more often are netted. They grow
up to 3 ft. l ong, wei ghi ng 20 l b. or more. Young grow
rapi dl y. Most Carp are scal ed, but Mi rror Carp have onl y
a few l arge scattered scal es, and Leather Carp have no
scal es at al l . The gol dfsh rai sed i n aquari a and ponds
are very si mi l ar to Carp and are of the same fami l y.
REDSIDE DACE (4 i n. ) occurs
in the northeast and in clear
mi dwest creeks. Males i n
spri ng have cri mson sides.
MI NNOWS, other than Carp (p. 57), are mai nl y smal l
fsh, an d whi l e a few grow l arge enough to be used for
food, most pl ay a more i ndi rect rol e as far as man i s
concerned. They are a favorite bai t fsh, and sel l i ng them
i s a si zabl e i ndustry. More i mportant i n the l ong run i s
the natural rol e of mi nnows as consumers of aquatic i n
sects and crustacea, and as food for l arger, more val u
abl e fsh. Mi nnows, and si mi l ar smal l fshes, hel p mai n
tai n a pl enti ful suppl y of sport fsh. They are an essenti al
l i nk i n the cycl e of fresh-water aquatic l ife.
CREEK CHUB i s a large mi nnow
(to 12 i n.) with a black spot on the
front of its dorsal fn. In spri ng,
tubercules devel op on the head.
Found wi dely in small streams; oc
casi onally i n l akes. Male builds
gravel nest for fertilized eggs. A
good sports fsh when trout are
GOLDEN SHINER i s golden dur
i ng the breedi ng season; other
wise the back i s greeni sh and
only t he sides have a trace of
gold. This hardy fsh seems better
able than others to survive i n
small ponds duri ng wi nter, when
the oxygen content of the water is
low. length: 5 in., rarel y up to 1 2.
CHUB is abundant in the rivers of
the California Val l ey. It is one of
a few members of the minnow
famil y to be found in the Pacific
drainage. Note the dark spots on
the scal es. Its col or is usual l y a
dul l brown. Lengt h: up to 1 2 in .
EMERALD SHI NER, a very com
mon species in l akes and cl ear
streams, is named for its greenish
back. The Emeral d Shiner shows
a preference for l akes. Large
school s of young are often seen.
Widel y distributed through t he
Mississippi Val l ey and nort h into
RE DBE LLY DACE S i n c l u de a
northern and a southern species
with very simi l ar markings. The
paral l el back stripes are charac
teristic . Mal es are brightl y col
ored; bel lies are scarl et in the
spring, otherwise silvery. Length
3 to 4 in.
CUTUPS MI NNOW is most com
mon in eastern streams and riv
ers. Named for the mouth and
j aw structure, which can be seen
only when the fish is turned over.
I t has a bl ackish bar behind the
gil l covers. Grows up to nearly 6
i n. l ong.
undersi de
of j aw
CATFI SHES are best known as warm-water, fresh-water
fi shes. However, t hi s l arge group (over 30 speci es) i n
cl udes t he bul l heads ( p. 62) and t he Hardhead Catfi sh
( p. 63) . Catfi shes rank second onl y to buffal os as fresh
water commerci al fi shes . I f combi ned wi th bul l heads they
are fi rst. European Catfi sh, 1 2 ft. l ong, have been re
ported . Catfi shes take a wi de var i et y of food, i ncl udi ng
cl ams , i nsect l arvae, and crustaceans . They ar e al so
scavengers . Some l i ve in muddy waters where other
fi shes do not l i ve. Catfi shes are taken on l i nes or i n hoop
nets as above.
large-si zed catfi sh are edi bl e and tasty. Al l have
smooth, scal el ess bodi es, l ong barbel s around the mouth,
and spi nes i n the dorsal and pectoral fi ns whi ch are
i rr i tati ng and perhaps poi sonous . None is found i n the
Paci fi c Coast states except the Whi te Catfi sh, i ntro
duced i nto Cal i forni a .
Channel Catfi sh, wi th deepl y forked tai l and fai r l y
s l ender body, i s probabl y best known . I t prefers cl ear,
movi ng water ; can wei gh up to 20 l b. , usual l y 3 or 4.
BRINDLED MADTOM is a very smal l (3 to 4
i n. ) catfsh found widely in swift streams. I t
i s one of several mai l er speci es. Madtams
are someti mes used as bai t.
STONECAT is a smal l fsh ( 10 i n. ) si mi l ar to
Bul l heads, but with adi pose fn conti nuous
with tai l . A yel l owi shbrown species of cl ear
water, fou nd under l ogs an d stones.
FLATHEAD CATFI SH, true to its name, has
a broad, fattened head with protrudi ng
l ower j aw. length to 5 ft.; wei ght to 50 l b. or
more. Mottled yel l ow and brown pattern.
BLUE CATFI SH i s t he l argest catfsh i n the
Mi ssi ssi ppi drai na
e; i t can wei gh over 150
l b. Note bl uegray back and si l very bel l y.
Fi ne eati ng.
BULLHEADS are smal l catfsh whi ch rarel y grow over
a foot l ong or wei gh over 2 lb. They l ive in muddy ponds
and streams and may survive in the mud when ponds "dry
up. " They feed on al most any ki nd of pl ant and ani mal
l ife t hey fnd al ong the bottom. Much of thei r food i s
snai l s, crayfsh, and i nsects. Bul l heads are good eati ng,
though the fesh may have a muddy favor. They spawn i n
spri ng, maki ng a nest on t he har d bottom. The mal e
watches t he nest and guards t he young. Bul l heads have
a square or sl i ghtl y rounded tai l , and are often mottl ed
yel l owi sh i n col or. Three species, common i n central and
eastern waters, ar e shown above.
MARI NE CATFI SHES are common i n bays and harbors
al ong the Atl ant i c and Gul f coasts i n summer. They
wi nter i n deeper water. These southern speci es are usu
al l y found south of Vi rgi ni a and the Car ol i nas, rarel y
north to Cape Cod . The Gafftopsai l Catfi sh i s named for
i ts l ong, ri bbonl ike pectoral and dorsal fi ns . I t has two
barbel s on the l ower j aw. Lengt h, to 2 ft . ; wei ght, 3 to
4 l b. The Hardhead Catfi sh i s smal l er, and i s consi dered
a "trash" fi s h.
Both these {atfi sh put an unusual burden on t he mal e
duri ng breedi ng. The mal e carri es the ferti l i zed eggs i n
hi s mouth for about two months, goi ng wi thout food unt i l
wel l after t hey hatch, as the young cont i nue to st ay i n
thi s curi ous nest .
mouth f ull of eggs mouth f ull of young
PI KE, PI CKEREL, and MUSKELLUNGE for m a smal l
but famous group of l ong, t hi n fi shes. Al l have spi nel ess
dorsal fi ns and l arge anal fi ns; l ong, narrow j aws wi th
sharp teeth . They eat smal l fi shes and crayfi s h. Fi ve
speci es occur in l akes and streams of central and eastern
states . Most are val ued as game fi sh and are caught by
trol l i ng or casti ng, with spoons or spi nners. They are
good eat i ng, though somewhat bony.
Northern Pi ke can be recogni zed by t hei r scal i ng,
whi ch covers t he enti rety of t he cheeks but onl y the upper
hal f of the gi l l covers . I t i s caught commerci al l y, but i s
much more i mpor tant as a game fi s h. Sportsmen t ry for
i t wi th fl ashy l ures or l i ve mi nnows .
Muskel l unge is the l argest pi ke. Though not much
l arger t han the Nor thern Pi ke, i t i s consi dered a fi ercer
fi ghter and a better game fi s h. Lower cheeks and l ower
gi l l covers l ack scal es. Body marki ngs show regi onal
vari at i ons i n the pattern of the dark spots or bar s .
Grass Pi c kerel ( Redfi n Pi ckerel ) i s smal l er and has
cheeks and gi l l covers compl etel y scal ed. I t i s the com
monest pi ckerel of smal l streams i n the Mi ssi ssi ppi Val
l ey. The eastern for m, Mai ne to Al abama, wi t h a shorter
snout, i s cal l ed the Red fi n Pi ckerel .
Chai n Pi ckerel , often found wi th bass i n shal l ow
l akes and cl ear streams , has cheeks and gi l l covers
compl etel y scal ed. Occurs from New Engl and south to
F l ori da and Texas .
NORTHERN PI KE, 1 to 4 V2 ft. ,
1 0 to 35 l b. Vari abl e mark
i ngs. Northern streams and
l akes.
GRASS PI CKEREL, 1 ft . ; wt.
to about 1 l b. Streams and
ponds, Mai ne to Al abama.
CHAI N PI CKEREL, 2 to 4 f t . ,
1 0 l b. and more; Eastern and
Gul f drai nage streams .
MUSKELLUNGE, 2 to 7 ft . ; 1 0
to 20 l b. , rarel y to 60 l b.
Northern streams and l akes.
Long-l i ved-to 1 0 years.
A heavier fish, which feeds mainly
on aquatic animals.
Common in northern part of Mis
sissippi basin.
MOSQUITOFISH, 2 in. The male
Gambusia is much smaller than
the female.
KI LLI FI SH and Topmi nnows are often cal l ed mi nnows,
but the term is more correctl y used for smal l er relatives
of the carp (pp. 57-59). Ki l l ifsh are smal l (2 to 4 i n. ) with
long, somewhat compressed bodies, smal l mouths, and
projecting lower jaws. Tai l s are not forked; scal es are
l arge. These fsh l ive i n ponds, streams, ditches, and sal t
marshes throughout the United States, feedi ng on i nsect
l arvae, crustaceans, and smal l water pl ants. Some feed
on wrigglers and are therefore of val ue in mosquito con
trol . Mosquitofsh (Gambusia) retai n eggs in their bodies
and bear their young al ive. Many species breed through
out the summer.
MUMMICHOG, 5 in. Common in
eastern coastal streams, marshes,
and tide pools.
ATLANTIC NEEDLE FI SH, 1 2 to 20 i n. ,
of southern waters. A si mi l ar species
l ives i n Cal iforni a waters.
NEEDLEFI SHES and HALFBEAKS are mari ne fi shes
cl osel y rel ated to the fl yi ngfi shes (pp. 68-69) . Note the
si mi l ar unbal anced tai l s, l onger at the bottom. Al l spe
ci es l i ve i n warmer waters. Needl efi sh have l ong bodi es
and very l ong, toothed jaws . They l i ve at the surface
and there feed on smal l fi s h. Some speci es grow to 5 ft . ,
as the Houndfi sh of -l ori da waters . Hal fbeaks, as thei r
name i ndi cates, have onl y the l ower j aws extended.
These smal l er fi shes rarel y grow to 2 ft. l ong; they prefer
even warmer waters than needl efi shes . Other speci es of
needl efi shes and halfbeaks occur, but not too commonl y,
i n waters off southern Cal i forni a.
HALF BEAK, about 1 2 i n. , of south
Atl anti c shores. The Bal l yhoo i s si mi
l ar but has a tai l shaped more l i ke
that of the Needl efi sh.
F LYI NGF I SHE S are oceani c speci es often seen ski tter
i ng near boats . They l eave the water pri mari l y to escape
from l arger fi shes such as tunas and mackerel s , whi ch
feed on them mai nl y. The F l yi ngfi sh does not actual l y fl y.
I t taxi s al ong the surface, vi brati ng its tai l i n the water;
then i t uses the wi ngl i ke fi ns to gl i de upward, droppi ng
down when momentum i s exhausted. Oft en i t t akes to
the ai r a second or t hi rd t i me wi thout re-enteri ng the
water. Some speci es have the two pectoral fi ns enl arged;
others have both pectoral and pel vi c fi ns devel oped for
"fl i ght . " The former are known as Two-wi nged, the l at
t er as Four-wi nged, F l yi ngfi shes . Al l speci es frequent
warmer seas , but may appear hal fway up our Atl anti c
and Paci fi c coasts . They deposi t eggs, covered wi th l ong
si l ky threads, i n kel p beds , or attach them to any fl oat
i ng obj ect .
The At l ant i c and the Margi ned are t wo of the best
known Atl cmti c speci es . The Cal i forni a F l yi ngfi sh i s si m
i l ar to these. The Bl ackwi ng Fl yi ngfi sh ( reported to "fl y"
500 ft . or more) i s found in both the Atl anti c and Paci fi c.
Several speci es have barbel s when i mmat ure but al l l ose
them before maturi ty. Most speci es average 7 to 1 2 i n .
i n l engt h.
Margined Flyingfish
Massachusetts' "Sacred Cod"
ATLANTI C COD sti mul ated the settl ement of New E ng
l and, fostered s hi pbui l di ng, and had ot her i nfl uences on
earl y Ameri can hi story. I n testi mony of t hi s, a l arge
gi l ded pi ne Codfi sh was hung i n the Massachusetts State
House i n 1 784 and i s sti l l there.
Whi l e Cod wei ghi ng up to 200 l b. have been taken,
they average 1 0 to 25 l b. About 83 mi l l i on pounds of
Cod are caught annual l y. Cod feed mai nl y on mol l usks,
crabs, starfi s h, worms, squi d, and smal l fi s h. Some Cod
mi grate south i n wi nter and spawn at that t i me; others
move to deeper water. Large femal es produce three to
fi ve mi l l i on eggs . Smal l Cod, prepared i n stri ps for
cooki ng, i s cal l ed Scrod.
The Paci fi c Cod, caught from Oregon nort h, has be
come more i mportant than the Atl anti c Cod. I n 1 950,
Paci fi c catches were too i nsi gni fi cant to be l i sted. I n
1 985, more than 1 20 mi l l i on pounds of Paci fi c Cod were
taken, compared to the 83 mi l l i on for the At l ant i c.
The Burbot, the onl y fresh-water member of the Cod
fami l y, i s found i n northern streams and l akes, often i n
deep water. A s i ngl e barbel on the chi n creates the
mi staken i dea that i t i s a
catfi s h. The Burbot i s a
food fi s h, often caught i n
egg hatches in 10 days
green phase
young-4 months old
ATLANTI C TOMCOD and POLLOCK are both i n the
Cod fami l y. The Tomcod i s smal l , rarel y over 1 5 i n . l ong,
1 to 1 V2 l b. , and l ooks much l i ke a young At l ant i c Cod
( p. 71 ) . Note t hat the t i p of t he ventral fi n i s l ong and
taperi ng . li vi ng cl ose to shore, Tomcod feed on crusta
ceans and smal l fi s h. They are often caught i n bays and
occasi onal l y i n streams . Tomcods are good eati ng but
not i mpor tant as food fi sh . Col or i s vari abl e, usual l y
dul l green above, whi te or yel l owi sh bel ow. Paci fi c Tom
cod are t aken i n smal l numbers nort h of San Franci sco.
The At l ant i c Pol l ock is a cool -water fi sh found on both
si des of the North At l anti c . I t grows to 3 f t . , wei ghi ng
up to 30 l b. Over 40 mi l l i on pounds are caught annual l y,
chi efl y i n otter trawl s s i mi l ar to the ki nd i l l ustrated at
the bottom of p. 74. The s i mi l ar Wal l eye Pol l ock, found
chi efl y i n Al aska, was of negl i gi bl e i mportance i n 1 950.
Si nce the remarkabl e devel opment of the Al askan fi sh
ery, the take of the Wal l eye Pol l ock has i ncreased to 93
mi l l i on pounds, more than doubl i ng that of i ts At l ant i c
rel at i ve .
Pol l ock
HADDOCK, 30 years ago,
was the top-ranki ng food
fi s h. I t has dropped drasti -
c al l y, fr o m 1 00 mi l l i o n
pounds to 26 mi l l i on pounds
taken annual l y-mostl y mar
keted as frozen fi s h. Fi nnan
haddi e i s a l i ght l y smoked Nantucket
Haddock. On the Georges
and other banks , Haddock
New England fishing banks
are more pl enti ful than Cod. They l i ve in deeper water
than Cod, though rarel y deeper than 1 00 fat homs (600
ft . ) . Haddock are stri ctl y bottom feeders, taki ng many
ki nds of mol l usks, smal l crabs, worms, and ot her i nver
tebrates. They are found al so i n col der European waters .
Haddock is di st i ngui shed from Cod by havi ng a bl ack
l ateral l i ne, and a dark pat ch on each si de above t he
pectoral fi n . I t i s smal l er t han Cod but l arger than Tom
cod. I t occasi onal l y reaches 35 i n. , wei ghs up to 30 l b.
Haddock mat ure when 3 t o 4 years ol d .
LI NGS and HAKES are Cod-l ike fshes, of considerabl e
i mportance i n commerci al fsheries. The Si lver Hake, al so
known as Whiti ng, l acks the chi n barbel s of the true hokes
or l i ngs. I t al so has l arger scales. Thi s sl ender fsh is a
swift, strong swi mmer whi ch preys on shri mp and smal l er
fsh. I t is found at al l depths down to about 300 fathoms
but prefers somewhat warmer water than the Cod. With
the advent of quick-freezing it has become an i mportant
food fsh. The Si lver Hake spawns i n summer; the trans
parent eggs hatch i n about 2 days. Adults mature i n 3
years and rarel y grow more than 2 ft. l ong, weighi ng 5
l b. (average 1 to 2 l b. ). large runs occur in spri ng and
fal l . A cl ose rel ative is common i n the deeper waters of
the Gulf of Mexico.
The l i ngs i ncl ude several very si mi l ar species. All are
more sl ender than Cod and have two dorsal fns, one short
and the other l ong . The tai l is weak and rounded . Al l
ar e bottom fi s h, feedi ng on crustaceans and s mal l fi s h,
but not on mol l usks. They are ni ght feeders and may be
caught by l i ne, though most of the commerci al catch i s
made wi th otter trawl s .
Whi te Hake or Mud Hake, t he l argest speci es, gets t o
be 4 f t . l ong; wei ght to 40 l b. ; average about 8 l b. I t s
l ar ge mout h extends back beyond t he eyes .
The Squi rrel or Red Hake ( or l i ng) i s s mal l er t han the
others, averagi ng 1 to 3 l b. , but i s otherwi se very s i mi l ar
to t he Whi te Hake. I t s mout h, s l i ght l y s mal l er, extends
onl y as far back as the pupi l of the eye.
White Hake
Southern Hake, or F l or-
i da li ng, i s sti l l s mal l er
usual l y l ess than 1 f t . l ong.
It l i ves at medi um depths
but comes i nshore dur i ng
col d weather.
Red Hake
HOGCHOKER or Broad Sol e is one
of a group of smal l er fl atfi shes
( p. 78) whi ch i ncl ude the Euro
pean speci es that provi des fi l et of
sol e. I n the Uni ted States we get
fi l et of sol e from fl ounders.
Sol es prefer warm, shal l ow water
with a sandy or muddy bottom.
Several Atl anti c and one Paci fi c
speci es occur.
FLATF I SHE S form a uni que and wi despread group that
i ncl udes about 1 30 Ameri can speci es, common i n both
At l ant i c and Paci fi c. Some are val uabl e food fi s h; some
are pri zed by sportsmen; al l have devel oped a most
unusual body form adapted to l i fe on the bottom. As
shown bel ow, the transparent l arvae soon change i n
for m, and t he eyes mi grate t o one s i de of t he head
( ei ther l eft or ri ght, dependi ng on the speci es) . The
bottom si de of the fl atfi sh i s whi te or pal e; the top si de
vari es i n col or, and al l speci es can adj ust thei r col or and
pattern to the bottom on whi ch they l i ve. Al l have a
s i ngl e l ong dorsal and anal fi n , wi thout spi nes.
There are two groups of fl atfi shes . The Sol es have
smal l eyes, pl aced cl ose together, and a smal l twi sted
mouth wi th few or no teeth . They are general l y s mal l er
fi s h. The Fl ounders are a much l arger group and i ncl ude
the F l ounders, Fl ukes, Hal i buts, Turbots, and Dabs . De
tai l ed i denti fi cati on may be di ffi cul t ; i t depends on num
ber of rays i n fi ns, number of gi l l rakers, and other
characteri sti cs not easi l y observed .
newly hatched
northern fsh, prefers muddy bot
toms in col d, shal l ow water. I t
breeds i n wi nter. I t i s unusual i n
that t he femal e has smoother
scales and shorter pectoral fns
t han t he mal e. Note t he strai ght
l ateral l i ne and the smooth area
between the eyes.
portant food and game fsh.
large numbers are caught by
trawls. Angl ers get them near
shore during summer. I n wi nter,
the fsh seek deeper water to
spawn. The Summer Fl ounder,
whi ch is found from Maine to
South Carol i na, i s si mi l ar i n ap
pearance and habi ts.
swims upri ght-eye on each side
Dab (left), is common at 20 to
100 fathoms an muddy or sandy
bottoms. Up to 6 mil l ion l b. are
taken annual l y. length to 30 i n.
(average, 18 i n. ) , weight, t o 14
l b. (average, 7 l b. ) . Feeds on sea
urchi ns, sand dol l ars, and other
swims on one side-eyes on the other
mon and abundant Pacifc fat
fsh found from mi d-Cal iforni a
north to Al aska and west to Asia.
One of the most attractive foun
ders, it i s as good eating as its
drabber rel atives. Feeds mai nly
on worms and crustaceans; weight
up to 15 or 20 l b.
l arge-mouthed flatfish marked by
a concave tai l, are northern fish
but avoid very cold water. They
feed mainly on other fish. Hal i but
grow 3 ft. l ang and up to 60 l b.,
though the average si ze is much
smal l er. Note the smal l eyes, sep
arated by a l arge fat area. The
l ateral line swi ngs into a hi gh arch
near the pectoral fns. Found al l
year, but mai nly i n spri ng, from
San Frcncisco south.
may run from 400 to 600 l b. and
to over 8 ft. More usual are those
of 20 to 1 00 l b. which are caught
offshore at 10 to 400 fathoms.
Pacific Halibut are very simil ar.
STI CKLEBACKS are a fami l y of smal l fi shes, di stri b
uted wi del y around the worl d i n northern waters. Some
are fresh-water, some mari ne, and some are at home i n
ei ther el ement. Sti ckl ebacks range from 1 V2 to 4 i n.
l ong. They feed on fi sh eggs, l arvae and smal l crusta
ceans. I n spri ng and summer, when they spawn, the mal e
i s bri ghtl y col ored and very jeal ous. Fi ghts between
mal es are common. Each mal e bui l ds a round nest of
water pl ants hel d together by mucus threads . I n i t, sev
eral femal es in successi on may deposi t thei r eggs . These
are guarded by the mal e, who al so protects the young
after they hatch-i n about 1 0 days .
The Brook Sti ckl eback is a fresh-water speci es found
i n northern l akes and streams. I t i s i denti fi ed by 5 or 6
spi nes in front of the dorsal fi n . The Ni nespi ne Sti ckl e
back, of both fresh and bracki sh water, i s si mi l ar, but
wi th more spi nes on the back. The Threespi ne Sti ckl e
back, of si mi l ar habi tat, i s al so found i n Europe. The
mal e bui l ds a nest usi ng a sti cky ski n secreti on and bi ts
of vegetati on.
FI SH ar e s uch odd crea
tures that often peopl e do
not recogni ze them as fi shes.
Some l i ve i n shal l ow water,
where they are often taken
by s hr i mp trawl ers . Al l feed
on mi nute organi s ms . The
smal l est speci es are l ess than
2 i n. l ong; the l argest, 7 or
8 i n . Al l are southern fi s h,
someti mes f ound nor t h t o
Cape Cod . Seahorses, cov
ered wi th t hi n bony pl ates,
swi m upri ght . Thei r gi l l s are
smal l ; the gi l l openi ng i s a
pore. The femal e seahorses
and pi pefi sh deposi t thei r
eggs i n a pouch on the un
dersi de of the mal e. Here
they remai n unti l they hatch
as mi ni ature adul t s . The pi pe
fi sh are more fi s hl i ke but
have the same l ong snout
and the same breedi ng hab
i ts as the seahorses . Us ual l y
found i n shal l ow water, they
are 4 to 1 2 i n . l ong . About
fi fty speci es are known .
Northern Pi pefi sh
MULLETS and SI LVERSI DES i ntroduce the spi ny
rayed fi shes, whi ch i ncl ude most speci es through p. 1 3 1
and a few others . The mul l ets are bl unt -nosed, warm
water fi shes of bot h Atl anti c and Paci fi c. They are com
mon i n shal l ow water, where smal l school s may l eap i n
uni son when fri ghtened. Mul l ets feed on aquat i c pl ants
and mud but they someti mes bi te on doughbal l s . A good
food fi s h, they are often netted and smoked. Of several
speci es, the Stri ped Mul l et is most common; it grows to
2 ft .
Si l versi des ar e shore fi s h, but much s mal l er i n s i ze.
Li ke Mul l ets they have two dorsal fi ns, but al so a si l very
stri pe on t he si de. The I nl and Si l versi de ( a cl ose rel ati ve
of the Paci fi c Whi tebai t) i s found from New Engl and
south . It rarel y grows over 3 i n. l ong . The Brook Si l ver
si de is a s i mi l ar, fresh-water speci es .
CALI FORNI A GRUNI ON i s a l arger and better known
rel ati ve of the si l versi de. Thi s fi ne Paci fi c fi s h, known
from Monterey south, comes to the beach dur i ng the
hi ghest ti des to spawn and l ay i ts eggs i n the sand. Such
ti mes are the occasi ons for al l -ni ght Gruni on part i es. As
the fi sh are cast ashore by the waves, they are grabbed
bare-handed for cooki ng on the beach or l ater at home.
These sl ender, si l very Gruni ons, mi stakenl y cal l ed Smel ts,
are 5 to 8 i n . l ong. Some are caught commerci al l y i n
round- haul nets.
Topsmel t and Jacksmel t are actual l y si l versi des,
not Smel ts. They are caught al ong the Cal i forni a coast
and are cl ose rel ati ves of the Gruni on . Jacksmel ts are
taken by angl ers and al so form a maj or part of the
Cal i forni a "smel t" fi sheri es; l ength, 1 0 to 22 i n .
BARRACUDAS are the l arge, sl ender "ti gers" of tropi cal
seas, wi del y known because they are both feroci ous and
excel l ent food and game fshes. Barracudas stri ke at any
thing bright or movi ng. They may occur in shal l ow water;
and the l argest, the Great Barracuda, i s often accused of
bei ng dangerous to swi mmers. Some evi dence of thi s dan
ger has recentl y been confi rmed, but the fact remai ns that
barracudas are much l ess dangerous than sharks. The Great
Barracuda grows to 1 0 ft. l ong, though any over 5 ft. are
rare. The Paci fc Barracuda i s usual l y not over 4 ft. l ong
and wei ghs 1 0 to 1 2 l b. The Northern Barracuda and other
smal l er speci es are not dangerous.
Barracuda feed on smal l er fsh. They are caught by
trol l i ng or wi th l i ve bait, and are al so netted in commer
cial fshi ng. They spawn i n summer but may spawn twi ce
a year. 83
C HUB MACKE RE L, a not her
northern speci es i n both t he At
l anti c and Paci fi c, i s si mi l ar to
Atl anti c Mackerel but with finer
pattern of marki ngs on back.
Often found wi th Atl anti c Mack
erel . length about 2 ft.
great school s from the Carol i nas
nort h. The back has a dark, wavy
pattern; the undersi des are pl ai n.
Average, 1 ft . l ong, 1 V2 l b. ; but
may attai n twi ce t hi s l ength, and
up to 4 1 b.
SPANI SH MACKEREL and i ts ki n
are southern fi shes wi th el ongate
spi ny dorsal s . Spani sh, Pai nted,
and Si erra Mackerel s are spot
ted. Al l reach a maxi mum of 3 ft.
and 1 0 or 1 5 l b.
MACKEREL and thei r ki n are easi l y recogni zed by thei r
deepl y forked tai l s , whi ch narrow greatl y as they j oi n
t he body. Bot h dorsal and anal fi ns have smal l fi nl ets
behi nd them; and fi nal l y, the mackerel s al l have a s l eek,
streaml i ned form wi th smooth, al most scal el ess ski ns. Thei r
KING MACKEREL or Cere is the
onl y member of the Spani sh Mack
erel genus that l acks spots. Like
other mackerels, it feeds on smal l
fsh and squi d. I t i s found north
Ia the Carol i nas. I t can weigh u p
t o 60 l b.
WAHOO i s a more sol i tary mack
erel of the Gul f Stream and warm
water reefs. Note long dorsal fn
and wavy bands, extendi ng wel l
past the l ateral l i ne. Averages 1 5
to 20 l b. -someti mes much l arger.
i ri descence makes them more attractive than many other
species. These swi ft fshes usual l y travel i n school s, whi ch
mi grate wi del y. They l ive al ong shore and far at sea. I n
thi s group are the worl d's best game fshes and fshes of
hi gh commerci al val ue.
TUNA, ALBACORE, and BONI TO are l arge mem
bers of t he mackerel fami l y. A few are no l arger than t he
mackerel s on the precedi ng pages, but the gi ant tunas
are the l argest of the bony fi shes . These l arger mackerel s
al so swi m i n school s . They mi grate i n i rregul ar paths and
LI TTLE TUNNY or Fal se Al bacore
i s a fi sh of open waters frequentl y
caught and cal l ed "boni to" by
sportsmen . Found north to Cape
Cod in summer. 2 to 3 ft. , 1 0 l b.
Feeds on fl yi ngfi shes.
AL BACORE l i ve al l a l on g t he
coast, but are more abundant i n
t he south. Thi s i s t he "whi temeat
tuna" i mportant i n commerci al
fi shi ng . Atl anti c and Paci fi c spe
ci es are i denti cal .
SKI PJACK TUNA or Ocean i c
Boni to prefers warmer waters on
Atl anti c and Paci fi c coasts. Note
stri pes on undersi de and that the
l ateral l i nes curve down sharpl y;
2 ft. l ong; 20 l b. ; few l arger.
BONITO i s not so i m
portant i n commerci al fi sheri es.
A good sport fi sh, more abun
dant i n summer. A very si mi l ar
and sl i ght l y l arger Paci fi c speci es
grows to 40 i n. and 25 l b.
schedul es . Al l feed on such pel agi c fi sh as mackerel s ,
her r i ng, and sardi nes, and al so squi d. Al l are val uabl e
food fi shes, and tuna are famous game. These fi sh and
thei r ki n range the t ropi cal and temperate seas . Cal i for
ni a tuna boats fi sh as far south as Peru .
BLUEFI N TUNA are represented
by two very si mi l ar species, one
on the Atl anti c and one on the
Paci fi c. The Atl anti c speci es i s
l arger: 200- to 500- l b. fi shes are
commonl y caught. The record i s
about 1 , 496 l b. Tuna come to
ward shore and move north i n
summer, fol l owi ng a more pl enti
ful food suppl y.
YELLOWF I N TUNA and the Ski p
j ack are the pri nci pal speci es
caught at sea by the Cal i forni a
tuna fleet . Large numbers of Yel
l owfi n have recentl y been found
i n the Gu l f of Mex i c o. Mor e
southerl y i n i t s range t han the
Bl uefi n, thi s tuna i s al so smal l er
up to 500 l b. , usual l y 1 25 l b. or
l ess. An excel l ent game fi sh.
MARLINS ank hi ghest on the sportsman' s l i st. Al l are
open-sea fshes whi ch feed on other fsh. Of fhree speci es
l i vi ng i n North Ameri can waters, the Bl ue Marl i n is best
known. Thi s, the l argest marl i n (up to about 1 ,000 l b. ) ,
i s found i n the Gul f Stream as far north as Long I sl and.
I ts upper j aw is extended i nto a long pi ke, used i n cl ub
bi ng smal l fsh as it feeds. The ventral fns are reduced
fo a pai r of l ong fl aments. The Stri ped Mar l i n of the
Paci fc barel y enters Cal iforni a waters from the south
and i s caught near the Santa Barbara I sl ands. I t i s smal l er
than the Bl ue Marl i n-up to 300 or 400 l b. I ts back i s
marked by about a dozen gray stri pes. The White Marl i n
i s pal er i n col or and much smal l er-rarel y wei ghi ng more
than 1 00 l b. I t l ives i n our
Atl antic waters, movi ng
northward as spri ng ad
SAI LFI SH are found as far
north as Cape Cod on the
At l ant i c and as far nort h as
Monterey on t he Paci fi c. The
:two subspeci es, one i n the
At l ant i c and one i n the Pa
ci fi c, are al most i denti cal ,
except that the Paci fi c sub
speci es may average up to
1 00 l b. and the Atl ant i c
Sai l fi sh comes nearer 60 l b. Bot h have a hi gh, wi de
dorsal fi n , whi ch gi ves the fi sh i ts name; al so smal l scal es
embedded i n the ski n, as i n marl i ns . Sai l fi sh l ack fi nl et s.
They often appear i n school s chasi ng Mackerel , Men
haden, and smal l er fi shes . Sai l fi sh have oi l y f l esh and
ar e not a favori te food, but they ar e pri zed as game. They
are usual l y caught by trol l i ng i n deep water. When
hooked, a s ai l fi sh wi l l l eap, twi st, and "tai l -wal k" on
t he water i n an effort to shake l oose. Sportsmen often
rel ease the fi sh they have l anded.
SWORDFI SH, bear i ng a l ong, sharp,
broad "sword, " are qui te di st i nct from t he
marl i ns and sai l fi sh wi t h t hei r round poi nted
beaks . Swordfi sh are found in warmer
waters of the Paci fi c and At l ant i c; they
move as far north as Nova Scoti a by the
end of the summer. Often bask at the sur
face and are not eas i l y di sturbed . Sword
fi sh grow up to 1 5 f t . l ong and wei gh up to
1 , 000 l b. , but fi sh even hal f that si ze are
consi dered l arge. An excel l ent food fi sh
and pri zed game fi s h, taken wi th l i ne or by
harpoon. Swordfi sh prefer deeper, off
shore waters of the Gul f Stream. Feed on
smal l fi s h.
I NSHORE LI ZARDFI SH represents a southern fami l y. Lives
an sandy bottoms; feeds on smal l er fi sh . length to 1 ft .
DOLPHI N or Dorado shoul d not be confused with the
mammal of the same name (p. 1 52) . These fsh are unusual
i n several ways: thei r odd, bl unt heads and taperi ng
bodies with a l org dorsal fn; thei r magnifcent col or,
whi ch varies from fsh to fsh and whi ch changes i n waves
on the l i vi ng Dol phi n; and their unusual speed. Dol phi ns
are one of the fastest fshes. They l ive at the surface, chas
i ng and feedi ng on tyi ngfshes and other smal l kinds.
Mai nl y a southern fsh, the Dol phin has been found north
to New Engl and i n summer. It is occasi onal ly reported
along the Pacifc al so. Maxi mum size is up to 6 ft. l ong,
weight 60 l b. ; usual l y it is much smal l er. Dol phi ns frequent
l y leap from the water when hunting smal l er fsh or when
they are chased by somethi ng l arger. The high forehead
is characteristic of the mal e.
BUTTERFI SH are smal l (6 to 9 i n. l ong, wei ght Y l b. ,
occasi onal l y l arger) food fsh wi del y di stri buted i n open
waters of the Atl antic. They l ive i n school s on sandy
bottoms cl ose to shore. Butterfsh spawn i n summer, dis
appeari ng from northern waters in the wi nter. Nets yiel d
about 7 mi l l i on pounds annual l y. Butterfsh and Harvest
fsh represent the harvestfsh fami l y in the Atl anti c.
HARVESTFI SH l ive more to the south than Butterfsh and
ar e not as i mportant as food fs h. Thei r si ze i s si mi l ar. Note
the di ferences i n the fns. The Cal iforni a Pompano ( not
a true pompano) is a common Paci fc harvestfsh.
MOONFI SH and LOOKDOWN bel ong to the fami l y
of j acks (pp. 94-95), mackerel - l i ke fshes of warmer
waters. These two speci es are more fattened than other
j acks. The Moonfsh i s the more common of the two and
i s netted i n t he south as a food fs h. Both fshes average
about 9 i n. l ong and wei gh about hal f a pound, thugh
they may get l arger. The lookdown is si mi l ar to the
Moonfsh but has el ongated dorsal and anal fns and an
even bl unter head. The young have l ong fl aments on
dorsal and ventral fns. lookdowns are caught l ocal l y i n
channel s and near l edges. They put up a good fght and
ar e fne eati ng.
CRIVALLE or Common Jack has a
dark spot on gi l l covers. Grows
aver 2 ft. long and up to 36 l b.
Usual l y i n smal l school s near pi l
i ngs. Caught by trol l i ng.
Creval l e Jack
JACKS and POMPANO represent a l arge and i mpor
tant fami l y of open-sea fi shes . Note the deepl y forked
tai l s on thi n stal ks, often strengthened by heavy keel s,
wi th kni fe-sharp ri dges . Jacks and thei r ki n prefer warm
waters, though i n summer some may be found al l al ong
the Atl anti c Coast . A few species occur on our Paci fi c
Coast . Many j acks are excel l ent food and game fi sh .
"Pompano en papi l l ote" (cooked in paper) is a famous
del i cacy.
(above) i s streaml i ned l i ke the
mackerel s. School s are found on
our southern Paci fi c coast. A pop
ular game fi sh. Wei ght to 40 l b.
GREATE R AMB E RJACK ( l eft ) i s
l arger than t he Common Jack
averagi ng 1 2 l b. , occasi onal l y
reachi ng 1 00. Common off Fl or
i da; rarer farther north. Feeds ,
l i ke other j acks, on smal l er fishes.
JACK MACKEREL i s an i mportant
commerci al fi sh i n southern Cal i
forni a. Usual l y 8 to 1 5 i r. , to 5
l b. , but occasi onal l y much l arger.
Caught mostl y i nshore, though
seen 500 mi l es out. Feeds on
sardi nes .
FLORIDA POMPANO (bel ow, left)
i s a pri zed food and game fi sh,
most common south of t he Caro
l i nas i n i nlets and near shore. I t i s
al so caught at buoys or at off
shore oil ri gs. Wei ght about 2 l b.
PERMI T resembl es t he pompano
and i s someti mes cal l ed Round
Pompano. Length about 1 ft . ;
wei ght about 2 l b. Found in i nl ets
of mos t s out her n wat ers wi t h
PI LOTFI SH is a sl ender
j ack, rarel y growi ng over 2
ft. l ong. It is wi despread i n
warmer waters and i s occa
si onal l y found north to
Cape Cod. Pi l otfsh prefer
deeper water, often fol low
ing shi ps or l arge sharks
and feedi ng on scraps
these bi gger fsh l eave be
hi nd. They do not l ead
sharks to food, as some sto
ries have it.
BLUEFI SH (bel ow) i s in a fami l y by itsel f. It resembles
pompano i n some aspects, though it may be more cl osel y
rel ated to the sea basses. Bl uefsh are excel l ent food and
game fsh, found i n both deep and shal l ow water and
caught by trol l i ng, nets, or sei nes. length to about 30 i n.,
wei ght 1 0 to 1 2 l b. ; rarel y l arger.
PERCHE S are a l arge fami l y of medi um to smal l fi shes
al so found i n Europe. The Yel l ow Perch ( to 1 2 i n. and 1
l b. ) i s best known . It i s abundant i n l akes and l arge
streams , feedi ng O) i nsects, crayfi sh, and smal l fi s h.
Perch spawn i n spri ng; l ower fi ns then reddi s h. Wal l eye
is a l arger, darker perch ( up to 1 0 l b. ) , fi shed commer
ci al l y, and a popul ar game fi s h, though becomi ng l ess
common . Eastern Sauger, s i mi l ar to Wal l eye but sl en
derer and s mal l er ( 1 2 to 1 4 i n . ) , often occurs wi th i t .
RAI NBOW DARTER ( 2 t o 3 i n. ) .
Mol es attractive wi th red on fi ns.
Prefer l arger creeks wi t h grovel
JOHNNY DARTER ( 2 t o 3 i n. l ong)
bel ongs to a I orge group of smal l
perchl i ke fi shes of brooks and
l akes .
BASSES, often cal l ed the fnest of fresh-water game fsh,
are of the sunfsh fami l y, whi ch i ncl udes 30-odd species
i n warmer l akes and ponds. Al l members of the fami l y
have a si ngl e dorsal fn, the spi ny and soft dorsal s bei ng
conti nuous. Al l bui l d nests i n whi ch the mal e guards eggs
and fry. Sunfshes are wi del y di stributed and some have
been transpl anted outside of thei r native eastern waters.
Largemouth Bass, when young, has on the sides a
dark stripe, which di sappears as the fsh matures. The
mouth i s l arge and extends back beyond the eye. Foods
are mai nl y crayfsh and smal l fsh. Largemouth and Smal l
mouth Bass are top game fsh. Both have been i ntroduced
west of the Rockies. To 8 l b.; l arger i n south.
Smal l mouth Bass di fers from the Largemouth i n
havi ng fai nt vertical bars on the si des, and a mouth that
extends to, but not beyond, the pupi l of the eye. Maxi mum
weight about 6 l b. The Smal l mouth prefers deeper and
cool er water than the Largemouth. I t does not range as
far south and i s absent from Gul f Coast streams.
Spotted Bass i s i ntermediate between the Largemouth
and the Smal l mouth i n mouth size, body size, and fn
shape. I t has a l ateral stri pe an d many smal l dark spots
over the sides. Fi ngerl i ngs are easi l y disti ngui shed by thei r
bri ght orange tai l .
_ _" members of the sunfsh fami l y (see p.
98). These favorites i n l akes, streams,
and ponds i ncl ude over a dozen
species, al l easy to catch.
Bl uegi l l, one of the l argest sun
fshes, someti mes wei ghs over 1 l b.
- averages 1 l b. Col or vari abl e,
usual l y wi th fai nt bars, and dark
l obes extendi ng back from the gi l l
covers. Found in central states and as
far west as Col orado. I ntroduced i n
Paci fc coast states, they thrive i n
farm ponds and l akes.
Longear Sunfsh i s so named be
cause of the l ong faps or l obes that
are extensi ons of its gi l l covers. Thi s
sunfsh rarel y gets over 8 i n. l ong
usual l y not over 6. The bri l l i antl y col
ored longear shows bri ght orange
and bl ue i n irregul ar patterns. One
of the two commonest sunfshes
(Green Sunfsh i s the other) of smal l
creeks i n the Mi ssissi ppi Val l ey.
Green Sunfi sh
Pumpki nseed
Pumpki nseed, or Common Sunfi s h, has a l ess regul ar
col or pattern t han t he Bl uegi l l but usual l y has strong
orange and bl ue stri pes on the cheeks, and a tel l -tal e
r ed s pot marks the back of t he gi l l covers . Rar el y over 8
i n . l ong; wei ght to 1 l b. Often found i n school s on weedy
margi ns of ponds and l akes, feedi ng on i nsects and s mal l
crustaceans .
Green Sunfi sh, one of t he s mal l er s unfi shes, rarel y
gets over 6 i n . l ong . Probabl y the most common sunfi s h,
i t i s s i mi l ar to t he Pumpki nseed but l acks t he r ed s pot on
t he gi l l cover s . There are bl ack spots at t he base of the
soft dor sal and anal fi ns . Found throughout the central
states and as far west as Col orado, it has been i ntro
duced al ong the Paci fi c.
Longear Sunfi sh
1 01
1 02
Redear Sunfsh
Redear Sunfsh or Shel l cracker (above) is common
i n the Mi ssi ssi ppi basi n from I l l i noi s south, and most
abundant in the south; someti mes in bracki sh water. I t
grows a bit l arger than other speci es (up to 1 0 i n. ) and
has been transpl anted outsi de i ts range. Note the red
ti p on the l obe of the gi l l covers; thi s gi ves the fsh one
of its common names.
Warmouth ranges through the Mi ssi ssi ppi basi n to the
Gul f i n l akes, ponds, and l arge streams. I t feeds on
i nsects and smal l fsh and, l i ke other sunfshes, takes the
hook readi l y. Grows 8 to 1 0 i n. l ong and usual l y not over
1 l b. I t i s a nest bui l der. Warmouth has a l arge mouth
l i ke that of the Rock Bass, but i t has onl y three anal spi nes
and more conspi cuous l i nes back of the eye.
Rock Bass is di fcul t to pi cture, since it changes col or
rapi dl y to bl end with its surroundi ngs. It, too, occurs in
the Mi ssi ssi ppi basin, but i s more common i n the cool er
cl ear waters of the north. I t spawns i n l ate spri ng on
gravel bottoms and under weedy banks. A good game
fsh, 8 to 1 0 i n. l ong; often weighs over 1 l b.
Spotted Sunfsh (Spotted Bream or Stumpknocker),
common i n southern ponds, streams, and bracki sh water,
is a smal l er sunfsh, marked by smal l dark specks. Duri ng
the breedi ng season, mature fsh devel op a bri ck red
col or. Length, 6 to 8 i n. ; wei ght usual l y 8 to 1 8 oz.
Spotted Sunfsh
CRAPPI ES are the l argest of the sunfi shes . Two speci es,
the B l ack Crappi e and the Whi te Crappi e, i nhabi t about
the same range i n the Mi ssi ssi ppi val l ey and Great lakes
regi on. They have been wi del y transpl anted el sewhere.
There are s l i ght di fferences i n col or pattern and i n the
dorsal spi nes, and the shorter snout of the Bl ack Crappi e
i s t urned up. Both speci es spawn i n spri ng when one or
two years ol d . They feed on s mal l water ani mal s , i nsects,
crustaceans, and to some extent on smal l fi s h. Crappi es
are easi l y caught through wi nter i ce or i n the spr i ng, and
make an excel l ent pan fi s h. They often grow to 1 2 i n .
l ong an d wei gh over 2 l b.
Whi te Crappi e
1 04
bass eat
blue gills
small animals eat
smaller plankton
bluegills eat
FI SH CULTI VATI ON in farm ponds is i ncreasi ng. Over
a mi l l i on such ponds exist; some produce as much as 200
l b. of fsh per acre. Where soi l ferti l i ty and therefore the
pond ferti l ity are very l ow, commerci al ferti l i zers are used
to ai d the growth of pl ankton ( mi croscopi c pl ant and ani
mal l ife). Thi s serves as food for crustaceans and smal l
fshes, whi ch are eaten by l arger fshes. Too- hi gh ferti l i ty
may cause excessi ve and obnoxi ous pl ant growth. I n the
popul ar Bl uegi l l -Bass combi nati on, the probl em has been
to avoi d excess producti on of bl uegi l l s, by i ntensi ve
angl i ng and netti ng. Detai l ed i nstructi ons are avai l abl e
from federal and most state conservati on agenci es.
1 05
1 06
Gi ant Sea Bass
TEMPERATE BASSES i ncl ude the Whi te Perch whi ch,
unt i l 1 970, was pl aced i n the same fami l y as the sea
basses (p. 1 08) . Now the Whi te Perch, Whi te Bass,
Yel l ow Bass, and Stri ped Bass have been found to be
di fferent enough from the sea basses to move them to
the newl y created fami l y of temperate basses . Al so i n
cl uded i n t hi s fami l y i s t he Gi ant Sea Bass, or Paci fi c
J ewfi s h, a dar k, heavi l y bui l t bottom fi sh t hat may wei gh
up to 600 l b. and attai n 7 ft. or more i n l engt h. Thi s
popul ar game fi s h, found from central Cal i forni a south,
al so has some commerci al i mpor tance as a food fi s h.
WHITE BASS, a fresh-water fi sh,
bel ongs to the fami l y of temper
ate basses. I t l ives i n the l arger
ri vers and l akes of the Mi ssi ssi ppi
Val l ey and i n the Great lakes .
Note the silvery, striped body and
di vi ded dorsal fi n . A good game
fi sh . length: to 1 8 i n.
STRI PE D BASS ( i l l u s
trated on p. 8) i s t he best
kn own t emper at e bas s ,
found from F l ori da t o Can
ada but best known from
New Jersey to Cape Cod.
I t has been s u cces s f u l l y
transpl anted t o the Paci fi c
coast. The Stri ped Bass i s
Surf fi shi ng for Stri ped Bass
a superb food and game fi sh, growi ng up to 1 25 l b. ,
though hal f that wei ght is more typi cal . I n May it moves
i nto bays or up streams to spawn . Food: fi s h, crabs,
shri mp, and other i nvertebrates . Whi te Perch i s another
fi ne temperate bass of both bracki sh and fresh water on
t he At l ant i c coast .
Yel l ow Bass
YELLOW BASS i s rel ated and qui te
si mi l ar to Whi te Bass. It rarel y
grows over 1 5 i n. l ong. Some of
the stripes on its sides are i nter-
rupted. A good game and food
fi sh, i t i s found i n north-central
l akes and ri vers, and someti mes
i n bracki sh bays .
1 07
1 08
SEA BASSES are a l arge and di verse fami l y of perch l i ke
fi shes . Most speci es have three heavy spi nes before the
anal fi n , and one or two spi nes on the edge of the gi l l
covers .
Bl ack Sea Bass is most common from Fl ori da to Cape
Cod . Thi s bottom fi sh is often found near rocks, both
i nshore and off, feedi ng on crabs, s hr i mp, and smal l
fi shes . Si des mot t l ed, wi th narrow hori zontal stri pes. A
superi or game fi s h. Wei ght to 6 l b. ; l ength to 1 8 i n .
Bl ack Sea Bass
Kel p Bass i s a much smal l er fi s h; i t rarel y gets to be
over 2 ft. l ong. I t i s common i n kel p beds , where i t i s
frequentl y taken by angl ers usi ng l i ve bai t . One of the
l eadi ng Cal i forni a sport fi shes and of some commerci al
i mportance, i t i s caught mor e often i n summer. I t i s rare
north of Monterey.
J EWF I SHE S AND GROUPERS are l ar ge sea basses ,
found i n southern waters of the Atl anti c and the Gu l f,
usual l y on rocky bottoms and around reefs . The Warsaw
Grouper, or Bl ack J ewfi s h, does not occur nor th of the
Carol i nas . I t reaches a l ength of 6 ft . and a wei ght of at
l east 500 l b. Oddl y, sma l l fi sh are r ar er t han those of
the l arger s i ze. J ewfi sh are taken by hook and l i ne
commerci al l y as wel l as for spor t . The J ewfi sh i s not
found nor t h of F l or i da . I t , t oo, i s a fi sh of r ocks and
reefs , t hough i t al so l i ves ar ound pi l i ngs . Thi s j ewfi sh
gr ows l arger t han the Warsaw, reachi ng over 600 l b.
( record 693 l b. , l engt h 8 ft . ) . I t i s a s l uggi sh fi s h and
hence i s easy pr ey to spear fi shermen , who take t hem
frequentl y. As a food fi sh i t once had l i ttl e val ue, but
now i t i s becomi ng i ncreas i ngl y popul ar and more wi del y
used .
1 1 0
West I ndi es fsh that is al so fou nd
in the Fl orida Keys. It prefers
reefs and ofshore banks, where
RED GROUPER ranges as far
north as the Carol i nas. Al ong with
the Bl ack Grouper it forms the
bul k of the commercial grouper
catch. Food si mi l ar to that of
other groupers. This common spe
cies grows to 50 l b.
it feeds on crabs and smal l fshes.
Thi s handsome fsh has two col or
phases and changes col or rapi dl y.
Grows to 1 8 i n. ; averages 3 l b.
BLACK GROUPER, a West I ndies
species, is also common on the
northern Gul f Coast. It is abun
dant i n Fl ori da Keys; occasional l y
ranges to Massachusetts. Grows 3
ft. l ong, up to 50 l b.
SNOOKS are wi del y di stri buted i n tropi cal seas . One
speci es i s common off F l ori da and al ong the Texas coast.
Paci fi c speci es do not qui te touch U . S . waters . Snooks
are found cl ose to shore, i n bays and i nl ets, often goi ng
upstream i nt o fresh water. They are fi ne game fi sh and
are excel l ent eati ng al so. Snooks are rel ated to the sea
basses ( pp. 1 08- 1 1 0) but have l onger, t hi nner bodi es, a
strai ght l ower profi l e, and a proj ecti ng l ower j aw. Av
erage wei ght about 4 l b. , occasi onal l y up to 50; l ength
up to 4 f t .
TRI PLETAI L gets i t s name from
the promi nent dorsal and anal
fi ns, whi ch make the fi sh l ook as
i f i t had three t ai l s. Common i n
Atl anti c north to Cape Cod; more
common i n the sout h. Feeds on
smal l er fi shes. Length about 20
i n . ; average wei ght over 1 0 l b.
1 1 1
SNAPPERS are another group of tropi cal fshes whi ch
fnd thei r way al ong the Gul f and Atl antic coasts, some
ti mes as far north as Cape Cod. Snappers usual l y aggre
gate on ofshore "l umps," though some speci es of l ess
commerci al i mportance are found near shore. They feed
on crabs, shri mp, and smal l fsh.
School master, of Fl ori da waters, is found around
wharves and al ong the reefs. Grows about 1 8 i n. l ong;
wei ght 2 to 3 l b. , occasi onal l y up to 8. A common
species, marked by l i ght bars and yel l ow fns.
Gray Snapper, al so cal l ed Mangrove Snapper, i s often
found around mangroves in the Fl ori da Keys. Reputed to
be one of the best-tasti ng snappers, it feeds l argel y on
crabs. Occasi onal l y found as far north as New Jersey.
Average l ength is about 1 8 i n. ; average weight about
2-3 l b. , but speci mens of 1 5 to 1 8 l b. have been caught.
Red Snapper is a famous food fsh found mai nl y i n the
Gul f of Mexi co, but al so al ong the At l antic Coast as far
north as long I sl and. I t is usual l y caught with hand l i nes.
Pensacol a and Cari bbean Red Snapper have recentl y been
shown to be the same speci es. length, to 3 ft.
Red Snapper
Yel l owtai l Snapper is a smal l snapper wi th a bi g
reputation as a tasty fsh. I t i s rarel y found north of
Fl ori da, where it l i ves al ong reefs and in i nl ets. I denti fed
by a deepl y forked tai l , yel l ow fns, and a yel l ow stri pe
al ong the si des to the tai l . Length to 2 ft. ; average l ength
under 1 ft.
1 1 4
PORKFI SH A smal l , bri ghtl y
c ol or ed gr u n t of F l or i da
waters; 1 t o 2 l b.
GRUNTS are cl osel y rel ated to snappers but have fewer
teet h and bri ght l y col ored mouths . Most are smal l , al l
are tropi cal . Common i n t he Atl ant i c. The Cal i forni a
Sorgo i s a common grunt of Paci fi c waters.
Whi te Grunt, common f rom t he West I ndi es to the
Carol i nas and a favori te food fi sh, has four rows of
enl arged scal es above l ateral l i ne. Average l engt h, 1
f t . ; average wei ght, 1 l b. -rarel y up to 1 8 i n . l ong and
4 l b. Found on shal l ow, sandy bottoms.
Bl uestri ped Grunt i s marked as i ts name i ndi cates
wi th narrow, hori zontal bl ue stri pes . Fi ns are yel l owi sh,
i nsi de of mouth red . lacks the l arge scal es of the Whi te
Grunt . Thi s handsome, tasty grunt grows to about 1 8 i n.
and up t o 4 l b. Common i n the Fl ori da Keys . Eas i l y
Tomtate i s a smal l grunt, not more than 8 or 1 0 i n.
l ong. I t has t he s ame range as t he Whi te Grunt . Usual l y
found i n shal l ow water, around rocks and docks, feedi ng
on whatever ani mal l i fe it encounters .
Pi gfi sh occasi onal l y fi nds i ts way to long I sl and Sound
and westward i n the Gul f to Texas . Most common i n
sout h U . S. At l ant i c coastal waters, where i t i s an i mpor
tant food fi s h. Habi ts s i mi l ar to Tomtate's . Note di ago
nal stri pes on back . To about 1 4 i n. and 3 l b.
PORGI E S ar e smal l - mouthed fi shes wi th strong j aw
teeth, adapted to feedi ng on shel l fi sh and crustaceans .
Scup or Porgy (from t he Car ol i nas to Cape Cod, on
sandy bottoms) i s a sport and food fi s h. lengt h, about
1 6 i n . ; wei ght, 1 to 2 l b. The nor thern and southern
forms are the same speci es . Sheepshead Porgy, common
and l arge, affords sport to spear fi shermen . Found south
of Chesapeake Bay and i nto the Gul f. Not rel ated to
Cal i forni a Sheepshead ( p. 1 30) . Of other southern spe
ci es, the J ol t-head i s l argest (up to 1 0 l b. ) and best
known; so cal l ed because i t j ol ts and pushes shel l fi sh off
pi l i ngs when feedi ng .
1 1 6
feeder; up to 20 Ia 30 l b. Dark
bands most conspi cuous i n young.
PI NF I SH i s a porgy; al so cal l ed Pi nfi sh Bream, or Sai l
or's Choi ce. (The l ast name i s appl i ed t o two grunts
al so . ) Found from Cape Cod south and common al ong
t he Gul f i n bays, i nl ets, and around pi ers . Grows 6 t o
1 0 i n. l ong, l es s t han 1 l b. A fi ne-fl ovored fi s h.
OPALEYE, al so cal l ed Green Perch or Catal i na Perch,
i s t he onl y common member of a Paci fi c fami l y and a
favori te sport fi sh for surf casters . Maxi mum si ze about
20 i n. l ong and 6 l b. The young have whi t i sh bl otches on
each s i de of t he back. Opal eye i s found from Monterey
Bay south to l ower Cal i forni a .
1 1 7
CHUBS are smal l - mouthed fi shes somewhat l i ke por
gi es. They are known to fol l ow shi ps at sea, probabl y as
scavengers . The Bermuda Chub, common off F l or i da, i s
found nor t h to Cape Cod . I t wei ghs 3 to 4 l b. , occasi on
al l y much more; has di st i nct l i ght dot s on dark back
ground . Large school s are found around ol d wrecks and
al ong reefs , feedi ng on ani mal and vegetabl e matter.
MOJARRAS are smal l tropi cal fi s h, rarel y over a foot
l ong . They extend thei r j aws i nto a l ong tube (as shown
bel ow) as they feed on whatever pl ant or ani mal materi al
i s avai l abl e. There are many Ameri can speci es, al l s i l
very. They are among t he commonest Atl anti c shore
fi shes and are al so found on the Paci fi c Coast . More
abundant i n warmer waters, moj arras are sel dom over 6
i n . l ong .
Silver Jenny
1 1 8
WEAKF I SH and SEATROUTS are best known of the
croakers, a fami l y of temperate- and warm-water fi shes
that frequent shal l ows . Al so cal l ed Squeteagues, Weak
f i s h are i mportant f ood and game fi sh al ong the At l ant i c
coast . Thei r weak mouths t ear when hooked . large
school s move nort h i n l ate spri ng, feedi ng on smal l fi shes
and i nvertebrates . length, 3 f t . ; wei ght , 1 2 l b. The
Spot ted Seatrout or "speckl e trout" i s s i mi l ar but has
dark spots on fi ns and body, and a more southerl y
range. lengt h, 2 ft . ; wei ght , S i b.
WHI TE SEABASS, a Paci fi c croaker, rel ati ve of the
Weakfi s h, l i ves as far nort h as Puget Sound . Found
i nshore, often i n kel p beds, feedi ng on smal l fi sh and
crustaceans . Wei ght to 60 l b. An i mport ant commerci al
fi s h.
1 20
ATLANTI C CROAKER i s the common speci es of the
croaker fami l y. I t feeds on mol l usks, crustaceans, and
smal l fi shes i n bays and shal l ow water, where i t usual l y
l i ves i n eel grass or i n oyster beds . Has s mal l chi n bar
bel s . Occas i onal l y caught up to Cape Cod, but more
common to the south . Averages 1 l b. , someti mes reaches
4 or 5 l b. Spawns offshore i n l ate s ummer.
SPOTFI N CROAKER i s marked by l arge dark spots at
the base of the pectoral fi ns. I t i s often caught by Paci fi c
Coast surf-fi shers, al so from docks and boats near shore.
More common south of Monterey. length, to 2 ft . ; wei ght,
to 6 1 bs.
DRUMS are the l argest and noisiest of the croakers,
whi ch make l oud noises by vi brati ng muscl es that cause
thei r ai r bl adders to vi brate. The Bl ack Drum grows to
over 4 ft. and wei ghs up to 1 50 l b. , but averagi ng l ess
than ten. like the Sheepshead Porgy (p. 1 1 6) it feeds on
mol l usks. Though l arge and good t o eat, t hi s drum i s
not consi dered much of a game fsh. The Red Drum, or
Channel Bass, is an excel l ent sportsman's fsh. Found
from New York south, i t feeds on smal l fsh, shri mp
crabs. Note i ts col or. There may be more than one bl ack
spot at the base of the tai l . Thi s fsh travel s i n school s
and wei ghs 5 t o 1 5 l b. -occasional ly 50 l b. or more.
KI NGF I SHES, hi ghl y pri zed for thei r food qual i ti es,
are a group of croakers found i n both At l ant i c and
Paci fi c . Al l are somewhat si mi l ar and have a chi n barbel .
The Northern Ki ngfi s h, al so known as Whi ti ng, i s com
mon as far south as Maryl and, where i t gradual l y be
comes rarer as the Southern Ki ngfi sh becomes com
moner. Both speci es are bottom feeders found on sandy
bottoms i n fai r l y shal l ow water. The Gul f Ki ngfi sh i s
confi ned to sandy beaches from Chesapeake Bay to
Texas . The Corbi na, whi ch i s the Paci fi c counterpart of
the Gul f Ki ngfi s h, i s often taken by surf-casti ng . Ki ng
fi shes wei gh 3 l b. , grow to 2 ft .
TI LEFI SH are unusual fsh with a most unusual hi story.
Studi es show that they thrive only at depths of 50 to 1 00
fathoms, and there onl y when the water temperature i s
cl ose to 50 degrees. I n thi s narrow range the til efsh is a
bottom feeder, growi ng to over 3 ft. l ong and a wei ght of
over 35 l b. , though averagi ng much l ess. Note the feshy
fap at the top of the head and the smal l er ones at the
corners of the mouth. The eyes are much l arger i n ti l efsh
taken from the Gul f of Mexico.
Ti l efsh are excel l ent eati ng, but this l arge and val u
abl e fsh was not taken al ong the northern Atl antic Coast
til l 1 879. Fi shi ng for thi s speci es devel oped rapi dl y. Then,
withi n three years, the ti l efsh nearl y became exti nct
probabl y because of the shift of a col d-water current i nto
the narrow area they occupi ed. I n March, 1 882, steam
shi ps and fshi ng boats reported mi l l i ons upon mi l l i ons of
dead ti l efsh foati ng at sea north of Del aware Bay. None
was caught i n the next few years. Gradual l y the fsh re
turned, and after 1 91 5 commerci al fshi ng was taken up
agai n. Peaks of 1 2 mi l l i on pounds annual l y have been
reached, but recent catches i n North Atl anti c waters have
agai n been much smal l er.
1 23
SCULPI NS are a fami l y of odd, bizarre fshes with l arge,
spi ny or ar mored heads and short taperi ng bodis, some
ti mes soft, sometimes armored too. The pectoral tns, l arge
and fanl i ke, are used by fresh-water speci es to hang onto
stones. Scul pi ns are arctic or northern fshes found around
the worl d i n cool er waters. Most l ive on the bottom, feed
ing on crabs and smal l fshes. The fesh of Scul pi ns is
edi bl e, but because of their smal l size and unattractive
form, scul pi ns are sel dom eaten. They are a nui sance to
fshermen. Eastern kinds are used for l obster bait.
LONGHORN SCULPI N has on its head sharp spi nes
whi ch make it hard to handl e. I ts col or varies with the
bottom on which it l ives; usual l y it has l i ght and dark
bl otches. Length to 1 ft. ; wei ght to 1 l b. The Shorthorn
Scul pi n i s si mi l ar, with smal l er spi nes.
SEA RAVEN ( p. 1 24) , a l arger scul pi n up to 20 i n. l ong
and wei ghi ng up to 5 l b. , has l arge t eet h and can bi t e
severel y when caught . The mot t l ed s ki n i s pri ckl y. The
Sea Raven swel l s up when caught . I t prefers rocky bot
toms i n fai r l y deep water.
CABEZON i s a l arge Paci fi c Scul pi n, up to 30 i n. l ong,
wei ghi ng 20 to 25 l b. A favori te of angl er s, i t l i ves on
hard or rocky bottoms i n fai rl y shal l ow water. Good
eat i ng, but the roe i s repor ted poi sonous . Note soft
ski n, l ack of scal es, and l arge spi ne near eyes .
MOTTLED SCUL PI N represents a s mal l but wi de
spread group of fresh-water scul pi ns . Some are l ake
dwel l ers, but the Mottl ed prefers streams wi th gravel
bottoms i n the Atl anti c and eastern Mi ssi ssi ppi dr ai n
age. Grows 4 to 6 i n. l ong; i s of no commer ci al val ue.
scul pi ns , t hough each represents a di fferent fami l y.
Leopard Searobi n has a l arge head and taperi ng
body; mouth s mal l er than scul pi n' s, l ower rays of pec
toral fi ns free and modi fi ed for wal ki ng on the bottom.
Found i n the Gul f and At l anti c north to the Carol i nas,
t hi s fi sh somet i mes sti rs up the bot t om searchi ng for
crabs, worms, mol l usks, and even smal l fi shes. I t grows
to about 6 i n. and forms part of the commerci al "scrap"
that i s used i n canned cat food .
F l yi ng Gurnard is a southern At l ant i c fi sh wi th enor
mous pectoral fi ns each di vi ded i nto a l arger and a
s mal l er part . It takes l eaps out of the water, but nothi ng
l i ke those of fl yi ngfi shes . The ventral fi ns are used as
wal ki ng organs . The gi l l covers taper i nto t hi ck spi nes.
I t grows to l ess than 1 ft. l ong .
LUMPFISH and SEA SNAI LS are odd creatures of
northern waters found on both sides of the Atl antic. These
interesti ng but uni mportant fshes have unusual sucki ng
discs, by which they cl i ng to rocks and seaweeds.
Lumpfsh i s the larger (up to 20 in. and 20 l b. ). I t is a
bottom dwel l er, found from the surf out to depths of
1 50 fat homs. Lumpfsh often cl ing to l obster pots and
feed on smal l i nvertebrates. They spawn i n spri ng. The
mal e guards the spongy masses of eggs.
Sea Snails have an unusual tad
pole shape. Smal l (under 6 in.) and
soft-bodied, they are found as far
south as New Jersey. Al l species have
a wel l -devel oped sucki ng disc,
formed from modifed ventral fns.
Sea Snai l s feed on smal l mol l usks
and other bottom invertebrates. They
spawn earl y i n spri ng.
1 27
1 28
ROCKFI SHES are members of the scorpi onfi sh fami l y
whi ch gi ve bi rt h to young after they devel op i ns i de t he
femal e. About 60 speci es occur on our Paci fi c coast and
a few on t he At l ant i c. Al l have armored heads l i ke the
rel ated scul pi ns and searobi ns (pp. 1 24- 1 26) . More
common i n cool or temperate waters .
Bocacc i o, found from Bri ti sh Col umbi a southward,
grows up to 3 ft . l ong and wei ghs up to 20 l b. Thi s very
common and i mportant food and game fi sh i s ol ive brown
wi th vari abl e amounts of red, orange, and someti mes
bl ack.
Chi l i pepper i s found al ong the Cal i forni a coast , mor e
commonl y to the south . I t ranks wi th Bocacci o as t he
most i mportant rockfi s h. Note the pi nk stri pe al ong t he
l ateral l i ne. length to 24 i n . ; wei ght to 1 0 l b.
OCEAN PE RCH and SCORPI ONF I SH are eastern
representati ves of the rockfi sh fami l y. Both are found
al ong the At l anti c coast, and are temperate-water fi shes.
Ocean Perch, someti mes cal l ed Redfi s h, grows to
about 20 i n . and wei ghs to 5 l b. I t i s very abundant and
recent l y has become an i mportant commerci al speci es
more val uabl e t han cod and a source of frozen fi l ets and
fi sh-st i cks. I t i s taken by trawl s i n deep water, rarel y
caught by sport fi shermen . Note the l arge eyes, gi l l
openi ngs, and t he bri ght col ors whi ch fade rapi dl y after
death . li ke the Paci fi c Rockfi sh i t gi ves bi rth to l i vi ng
young .
Pl umed Scorpi onfi sh is a more souther l y scorpi on
fi sh represent i ng a group of about 20 speci es on the
At l ant i c coast and a few on the Paci fi c. I t l ays eggs . To
8 i n .
Plumed Scorpionfish
1 29
WRASSES are attracti ve, l arge-toothed, smal l -mouthed
tropi cal fi shes found i n coral reefs and around rocks .
They have a conti nuous dorsal fi n . Addi t i onal gr i ndi ng
teeth i n the throat ai d in crushi ng mol l usks. Scal es are
l arge and smooth . See Razorfi sh and Bl uehead, p. 1 33 .
TAUTOG, one o f two northern
wrasses, i s found south to the
Carol i nas. A good food and game
fi sh, 2 to 5 l b. , i t i s found i n
Cal i f or n i a Redfi s h i s a I orge
wrasse of rocky shores from Mon
terey sout h. Mol e ( l eft) and
1 30
HOGFI SH, found north to
the Carol i nas but more
common i n Fl orida waters,
i s a fi ne food fi sh up to 2
ft. l ong. Note the three
l ong spi nes i n the dorsal
fin and the bri ght col ors,
usual l y some shade of red,
whi ch changes rapi dl y.
summer around rocks, pi ers, and
l edges, feedi ng on mussel s and
ot her mol l u s k s . I t wi nt er s i n
deeper waters.
femal e ore i l l ustrated here. Dul l
red of femal e someti mes has dark
bl otches. A common sport fi sh.
length t o 3 f t . ; wei ght to 30 l b.
F I SHES form a group of compressed trop
i cal reef dwel l ers of F l ori da waters wi th
smal l mouths and teeth . Angel fi shes di ffer
from But terfl i es i n bear i ng a spi ne on the
gi l l covers. Al so, the dorsal fi n of Angel
fi shes ends i n a l ong fi l ament .
wel l - known reef dwel l er, marked
by a dark l i ne through the eye
ond another near the tai l . Thi s
smal l fi sh ( 5 to 8 i n . ) , fast and
aggr es s i ve, feeds on s ma l l
i nvertebrates .
FRENCH ANGELFI SH ( 1 ft . ) i s a
West I ndi es speci es as is the Gray
An gel f i s h wh i c h occas i on a l l y
spreads north to New Jersey. They
ar e bot h popu l ar s al t - wat er
aquari um fi shes . Young have ver
ti cal yel l ow bands on a bl ack
QUEEN ANGELFI SH i s t he l argest
of the group, growi ng to 2 ft.
l ong. li ke other angel fi shes, i t i s
good eat i ng, though the group i s
not i mportant as a food fi s h. An
gel fi shes feed on crabs, barna
cl es, and other i nvertebrates .
1 31
TROPI CAL MARI NE F I SHE S form an i mportant part
of Ameri can sea l i fe. Some are acci denta l straggl ers;
some come i nto our range duri ng summer; some l i ve the
year round i n F l ori da and Gul f waters . Southern Cal i for
ni a, wi th cool er waters, has fewer tropi cal speci es.
SERGEANT MAJOR, named for i ts stri pes, and Reef
Fi s h, common on coral reefs, are i n the damsel fi sh fam
i l y. Range north to F l ori da . Mal es guard eggs. 6 i n.
RAI NBOW PARROTFI SH i s one of t he l argest herbi v
orous and coral -eati ng reef dwel l ers . I t grows up to 3
ft . The Parrotfi sh fami l y i ncl udes bri ght l y col ored spe
ci es, wi th fused, ni ppi ng teeth that can cut a hook i n two.
SPADEFI SH, a rel ati ve of angel fi shes ( p. 1 3 1 ), is l arger
(to 3 ft. ) and a fi ne food and game fi s h. A favori te target
of ski n di vers . There i s al so a Paci fi c Spadefi s h.
s .... ant Maj or
TRI GGERFI SHES are so named because the frst of the
three stout spi nes of the dorsal fn is l ocked upri ght by the
second when the fsh is di sturbed. I t wi l l drop onl y when
the second spi ne is pressed as a trig-
ger. Tri ggerfshes are compressed
fn up
fshes al most as hi gh as l ong, with
heavy scal es and tough ski n. Ventral
fns are much reduced or absent.
These fshes average about 1 ft., rare
l y weighi ng over 1 l b. Al l are tropical ,
fn released
from Fl ori da and the West I ndies.
fn down
Gray Tri ggerfsh i s vari abl y col ored,
usual l y a mottl ed brown, yel l ow, or
gray. length, about 1 ft. It gets farther
north than other speci es. Ocean Tri g
gerfsh i s l arger, up to 2 ft., and wei ghs
3 to 5 l b. or more.
FI LEFI SHES have ti ny, hard scal es set in a tough skin
which was once used as sandpaper-hence thei r name.
They are rel atives of tri ggerfshes, but have onl y one
dorsal spi ne i nstead of three. The ventral fns are re
duced or absent. Fi l efshes are common in northern and
temperate waters, though t he fami l y i s a tropi cal one.
They feed on al gae and smal l i nvertebrates.
Pl anehead Fi l efsh rarel y gets over 1 0 i n. l ong. I t is
found north to Cape Cod but is more common i n the south.
The Fri nged Fi l efsh, of southern waters, i s si mi l ar but
has a l arger ventral fap than the Pl anehead Fi l efsh.
Orange Fi lefsh, a l onger, l ess deep speci es, may reach
a l ength of 2 ft. This one is more common i n the Gul f of
Mexico and al ong the Fl ori da coast. The Orange Fi l efsh
is not always orange, but i s mottl ed, wi th ol ive gray,
orange, or white.
1 35
1 36
TRUNKFI SHES are mari ne oddi ti es . The body scal es
fuse, formi ng a sol i d, tri angul ar shel l from whi ch the mov
i ng fi ns and tai l protrude. The boxl i ke shel l i s made up of
si x-si ded pl ates, each fi rml y attached to those whi ch sur
round i t. The Trunkfi shes are therefore sl ow and l i mi ted i n
thei r movements. When they ar e found north of thei r
southern range they have usual l y been carri ed al ong by
the Gul f Stream. The young are more rounded and, i n
some speci es, are bri ghtl y col ored.
Common Trunkfi sh is found mai nl y in Fl ori da waters
but al so to the north as far as Cape Cod. Onl y very smal l
fi sh ar e found that far north . Up t o l 0 i n.
Sc rawl ed Cowfi sh i s a
l arger t r unkfi s h , s omet i mes
over a foot l ong. Li ke other
trunkfi shes i t i s edi bl e. Trunk
fi shes are someti mes baked i n
thei r own shel l s.
Southern Puffer
(i nflated)
PUFFERS, al so known as Swel l fi shes, can qui ckl y i nfl ate
thei r bodi es with air or water ti l l they swel l to three ti mes
normal si ze. When danger i s past, they def l ate j ust as rap
i dl y. Puffers are found al l al ong the Atl anti c Coast and at
poi nts al ong the Paci fi c Coast. They l i ve i n shal low water,
feedi ng on crabs and other i nvertebrates. Some puffers
are poisonous. Si nce the poison i s extremel y potent, i t is
unwise to use puffers as food.
Smooth Pufer, one of the l argest speci es, i s most com
mon i n southern waters. I t has pri ckl es confi ned to area on
bel l y. Up to 2 ft.
Northern Pufer i s not common north of Cape Cod. I t
spawns i n s ummer. Bandtai l Pufer, from Fl ori da south,
and Southern Pufer of the Gul f, are si mi l ar i n form and si ze.
1 37
BURRF I SH ar e c l os el y
rel ated to t he puffers, but
i n addi t i on to thei r abi l i ty
to swel l , thei r ski n i s cov
ered wi th stout spi nes whi ch
make them dangerous to
other fi shes and hard to
handl e. These are tropi cal
fi shes, occasi onal l y found
nort h to Cape Cod, usu-
al l y i n shal l ow water, where they feed on smal l i nverte
brates . Of no commerci al val ue, but i nterest i ng because
of thei r form, members of thi s fami l y and the puffers are
found i n the Paci fi c south of our border.
Porc upi nefi sh has l ong, stout spi nes whi ch sti ck out
i n al l di recti ons . length, 1 ft . ; occasi onal l y 3 f t .
Stri ped Burrfi sh or Spi ny Boxfi sh i s a common speci es
wi th short, stout spi nes. I t i s so s l ow i t provi des sport
for ski n di vers, who can eas i l y catch them. 1 0 i n.
rel ati ve of the fresh-water
sunfi shes (pp. 1 00- 1 01 ) , but
i s ki n to the Burrfi sh and
Porcupi nefi sh { p. 1 38) . The
Ocean Sunfi sh i s al so cal l ed
Headfi s h, for i ts head domi nates the enti re body. I t pre
fers warmer waters, though i t occurs wi del y i n al l seas .
Thi s odd, l azy fi sh i s one of three speci es i n our waters .
Speci mens 6 f t . l ong and 600 l b. have been caught ; the
record wei ght i s about a ton . Food i s smal l mar i ne
i nvertebrates . The Ocean Sunfi sh has a l eathery outer
ski n wi th a thi ck tough whi te l ayer beneath . I ts bones are
soft and weak, and i ts movements are l i mi ted . Har
pooned as a game fi s h, i t has no use as food .
1 39
REMORAS are al so cal l ed Sharksuckers because of the
unusual , oval sucki ng di sc on the top of the head . Wi th
t hi s they at tach themsel ves to swordfi s h, sharks, or any
other l arge fi s h for a free ri de. Remoras are not para
si tes, nor do they "gui de" thei r host. They merel y share
l eft-over di nner scraps . The sucki ng di sc devel oped from
the front dorsal fi n; muscul ar fl aps open to create the
suct i on . There are several speci es of remora. They al l
prefer warmer waters . The Sharksucker, i l l ustrated
above, i s the l argest and most common, usual l y about 2
f t . l ong, someti mes a foot l onger. Remoras are found on
other fi shes such as Drums, Swordfi s h, and Marl i ns;
s'ometi mes on l arge sea turtl es . They commonl y attach
to ski n di vers .
Northern Stargazer
STARGAZERS are southern fi shes
best known from Atl anti c speci es,
whi ch are sel dom over 1 f t . l ong .
Mouth, nostr i l s , and eyes hi gh i n
t he head make i t poss i bl e f or Star
gazers to l i e buri ed i n the sand
awai t i n g u nwar y c r u st acean s .
Some Stargazers have, i n the top
el ectri c organs on
head of Stargazer
of thei r heads , el ect ri cal cel l s whi ch have devel oped
from the opti c nerve. These can gi ve a strong shock to
an ani mal or person. When the mouth opens to grasp an
ani mal , an accompanyi ng shock paral yzes t he prey.
TOADFI SH, found on muddy bottoms of s hal l ow water,
feed on crustaceans, mol l usks, and smal l fi shes. Lengt h,
t o 1 f t . The mal e guards the eggs , whi ch may rest i n an
ol d shel l or even i n a t i n
can or bot t l e. He bi tes vi
ci ousl y whi l e on dut y. Mi d
s hi pman (see al so p. 5 1 ) ,
of toadfi sh fami l y, l ays and
guards eggs i n much the
same manner.
Toadfi sh guardi ng eggs
1 42
Kel p Greenl i ng
GRE E NL I NGS are a Paci fi c fami l y most abundant i n
waters nort h of Monterey. Several speci es, more or l ess
common, whi ch grow to about 20 i n. l ong , are al l desi r
abl e game fi sh . They are t aken cl ose to shore i n al l
seasons but never appear i n l arge enough numbers t o be
i mport ant in commerci al fi sheri es . Greenl i ngs are char
acteri zed by one or two pai rs of smal l fl eshy fl aps on the
top of the head . The Kel p Green l i ng, i l l ustrated above,
is someti mes cal l ed Seatrout or Rockfi s h, t hough both
these names are mi sl eadi ng . The mal e and femal e di ffer
i n col or and form of marki ngs-an uncommon occurrence
among fi shes . Rock Greenl i ngs , or Red Rock Trout , are
usual l y brown (some are green); they are northern fi shes .
The Whi te-spot ted Greenl i ng is more common i n Oregon
waters and nort hward .
KE L PF I S HE S r epr es ent an ot her Pac i f i c
fami l y. Most speci es ar e found al l al ong the
coast near rocky shores and i n kel p beds .
Most are smal l fi shes ( 4 t o 8 i n . l ong) whi ch
have l i t t l e economi c i mport ance and even
l ack common names. The kel pfi shes are re
l ated to the bl enni es ( pp. 1 44- 1 45) .
Gi ant Kel pfi sh, the speci es i l l ustrated
above and bel ow, i s much l arger than i ts
rel at i ves-1 8 to 24 i n . l ong . I t i s often caught
by angl ers and fi nds i ts way i nto commerci al
nets . I t i l l ustrates t he protecti ve col orat i on
seen so oft en i n fi shes . Those l i vi ng i n kel p
beds , above, are reddi sh an d mot t l ed, s o
they bl end wi th the swayi ng kel ps. Those
l i vi ng i n eel grass, bel ow, are si l ver and
green, matchi ng those surroundi ngs . Thi s
kel pfi s h i s edi bl e, t hough the fl esh may have
the same green col or as the s ki n .
BL E NNI E S and GOBl E S are two l arge fami l i es of
s mal l fi shes, di ffi cul t to i denti fy, yet seen by pract i cal l y
everyone who has wal ked al ong t he beaches. These are
the fi shes of ti de pool s , oyster beds , and mud fl ats . They
l i ve i n eel grass and i n the shal l ows and i nl ets . Some
prefer bracki sh or even fresh water. None i s of speci al
economi c i mportance, yet al l are of val ue as part of the
neverendi ng cycl e of mari ne l i fe.
BL E NNI E S i ncl ude a group of tropi cal speci es and
another group of arcti c speci es. The northern ones are
l arger. Some bl enni es are scal ed; others have naked
s ki ns . Some have fl eshy fi l aments or fri nges on thei r
heads . The ventral fi ns are reduced to one spi ne and a
few soft rays . They eat any smal l ani mal s .
GOBl E S al so abound i n shal l ow water, especi al l y al ong
southern shores . They are both scal ed and naked, and
al l have ventral fi ns cl osel y j oi ned or modi fi ed to form
a sucki ng di sc, as i n thei r rel ati ves, the c l i ngfi shes .
STRI PED BLENNY occurs as far
north as New York i n shal l ow
water. lays eggs i n empty shel l s
and rock crevi ces. Up to 5 i n.
1 44
FRECKLED BLENNY is found cl ose
to shore from the Carol i nas al l
around t he Gul f to Texas. Com
mon i n ti de pool s . Up to 3 i n.
SHARPTAI L GOBY l i ves in brack
i sh or sal t water i n bays al ong the
Gul f Coast. Length, about 6 i n .
somet i mes up t o 1 0 i n .
FAT SLEEPER, rel ated t o the Go
bi es, thri ves i n fresh, sal t , or
br ac k i s h wat er . Occas i on al l y
l arge enough t o be a food fi s h.
ci fi c Goby, i s much i n demand as
a bai t fi s h. Ver y hardy. Length, 3
to 4 i n . ; rarel y l arger.
1 45
1 46
WOLF FI SHES represent a fami l y that resembl es over
grown bl enni es wi t h l arge, tusk- l i ke teeth . Al l are nort h
ern fi shes, wi th a preference for arct i c wat ers on both
si des of the At l ant i c . Wol ffi shes have a s i ngl e, l ong
dorsal fi n, l i ke bl enni es, but the ti ps of the spi nes are
sof t . Two speci es occur north of Cape Cod, one off Nova
Scot i a, and one al ong our Paci fi c Coast.
Atl ant i c Wol ffi sh i s marked by about a dozen
dark ver t i cal bars al ong i ts si des . Found from t he shore
l i ne out to depths of 500 or 600 f t . , i t i s a sol i t ary fi s h,
feedi ng on s ea ur chi ns , mol l usks, and crustaceans . I t i s
often caught i n c od nets and i s someti mes taken on l i nes .
It is a vi ci ous fi sh and can bi te dangerousl y. length , to 6
ft . ; average is l ess t han 3 . Wei ght , to 40 l b. Good
eati ng; i t i s caught commerci al l y i n quant i t y and often
sol d as "ocean catfi s h . "
SURF PERCHES, as thei r name i ndi cates, form a fami l y
of perch- l i ke fi shes, many l i vi ng i n t he s ur f , found al l
al ong t he Paci fi c Coast . Some prefer deeper water; and
there i s a s i ngl e fresh-water speci es . Surfperches bear
thei r young al i ve. Adul ts are smal l , compressed fi shes,
usual l y l ess t han 1 f t . l ong and wei ghi ng not much over
1 l b. Often caught by sportsmen, they al so form a mi nor
par t of the commerc
al hau l . The three spec i es i l l ustrated
on thi s page are representat i ve of the fami ly, and are
among the best known and most common.
SARGASSUMF I SH are smal l angl ers whi ch l i ve i n the
fl oat i ng sargassum beds of the warmer At l ant i c. Thei r
col or and adaptat i ons, such as the ar ml i ke pectoral fi ns,
enabl e them to t hri ve i n t hi s l i mi ted envi ronment . These
fi sh grow to about 6 i n . , wi th l arge mouths and deep
bodi es. They feed on other fi shes often as l arge as they.
Sargassumfi sh someti mes dri ft north i n patches of weeds
and are found past Cape Cod . Thei r gi l l openi ngs are
two smal l openi ngs, l ocated behi nd the pectoral fi ns .
WARTED SEADEVI L i s a deep-sea angl er found 200 t o
600 fathoms down, or more. Note t he l umi nous "bai t"
whi ch dangl es. i n front of the mouth . Mal es are parasi t i c,
attachi ng themsel ves to the femal es and growi ng f ast t o
them, t hei r eyes and di gesti ve organs ceasi ng to de
vel op. Severa l speci es; 6 to 40 i n. l ong .
GOOSE F I SH is the bi ggest angl er and is odd i n many
other ways . I t has a smal l gi l l openi ng behi nd ar ml i ke
pectoral fi ns l i ke the Sargassumfi sh and Batfi s h. I ts fi rst
dorsal spi ne has become a l ong rod, at the end of whi ch
i t dangl es a "bai t " wi t h whi ch i t has been observed t o
attract ot her fi shes by fl ashi ng i t back and f or t h l i ke a
worm before i ts vast mouth; it opens i ts mout h, then
sucks i ts prey down i nto i ts gul l et . The goosefi sh can
swal l ow a fi sh al most as bi g as i tsel f and someti mes
does; one speci men contai ned seven ducks. Goosefi sh
grow 2 to 4 f t . l ong and wei gh up to 50 l b.
other angl er, l i ke t he goosefi s h
has pectoral fi ns at the end of a
bony j oi nt . Batfi s h are small ( 8
t o 1 2 in . ) , and are found i n warm
water s .
Shortnose Batfl sh
1 49
RED DORY grades from pi nk
t o si l very. Fi ns yel l owi sh, ex
cept bl ack and whi te ven
tral s . 600 to 1 , 200 ft. deep.
DEE P-SEA FI SHES i s a term often appl i ed to speci es
l i vi ng bel ow the 1 00 fathom (600 f t . ) l evel . Here, many
fi shes and mar i ne i nvertebrates are col ored a bri ght red .
The si l very col ors and showy marki ngs of shal l ow-water
fi shes are usual l y l acki ng. Bel ow 200 fathoms more fi shes
tend to be bl ack or dark brown i n col or and possess
l umi nous organs (see p. 5 1 ) . Some have l arge mouths
and expandabl e stomachs and can swal l ow fi shes l arger
than themsel ves . Other deep-sea fi shes have a l ong ten
tacl e endi ng i n a "bai t" that dangl es before thei r mouth
and at tracts thei r prey.
The deep-sea bottom may be covered wi th forests of
sponges, cri noi ds and other i nvertebrates whi ch provi de
food for fi shes . Deeper bottoms may be soft mud and
fi shes l i vi ng there may have fi ns endi ng i n l ong fi l aments
to support them above the soft ooze that covers mi l e
after mi l e of ocean fl oor. less i s known of t he l i fe hi sto
ri es of the fi shes l i vi ng here.
1 50
Dol phi n
FI SHES make up onl y a smal l frac
tion of the ani mal l ife of the sea,
whi ch ranges from mi croscopi c pro
tozoa to whal es. Many forms of
mari ne l ife are obvi ousl y not fshes.
Some others are fshl i ke and are a
source of confusi on. Foremost of
these are the mari ne mammal s: the
dol phi ns, porpoises, bl ackfshes,
and whal es. Whal es and thei r ki n
have horizontal fukes, whi l e fshes
have verti cal tai l s. The mammal s
are warm-bl ooded ai r breathers
and must come up for ai r sooner or
l ater.
Other ani mal s confused wi th
fshes are not fshl i ke but often have
the word "fsh" as part of thei r
name. The starfsh has no backbone
l i ke fshes, but has sti f arms and a
spi ny, l i my ski n. Jel l yfshes l ack a
backbone al so and are much si m
pl er than fshes. Sea Snakes are not
fshes, nor are the free-swi mmi ng
mari ne worms and other ocean ani
mal s wi thout backbones. For more
about them read SEASHORES (p.
1 53).
F I SHES are perhaps more di ffi cul t to i denti fy than other
backboned ani mal s . Accurate i denti fi cat i on depends on
a careful study of the fi shes, wi th attent i on to the struc
ture of the fi ns, teeth, ki nd of scal es, and number of
rows of them.
Li sted bel ow i s a group of books to enri ch your read
i ng about fi shes. Most are non-techni cal ; the rest ar e
near l y so.
Breder, Charl es M. J r. , fi ELD BOOK OF MARI NE fi SHES OF THE ATLANTI C
COAST, G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1 948. A compl ete but
necessar i l y bri ef gui de to Atl anti c speci es. Photographs and
drawi ngs.
Curt i s, Bri an, THE LI FE STORY OF THE fi SH, Harcourt , Brace, and Co. ,
New York, 1 949. A very readabl e, i nformal bi ol ogy of fi shes-what
they are, how they l i ve, breathe, swi m, and see. Adds another
di mensi on to fi sh i denti fi cati on .
Hubbs and Logi er, fi SHES OF THE GREAT LAKES REGI ON, Cranbrook I nst i
t ut e of Sci ence, Bl oomfi el d Hi l l s, Mi ch . , 1 947. A systemat i c regi onal
gui de.
LaMonte, Francesco, NORTH AMERI CAN GAME fi SHES, Doubl eday and
Co. , New York, 1 945. A conci se gui de to fresh- and sal t-water
game fi shes wi th some fi ne col ored pl ates and a tabl e of record
wei ght s.
COAST, State of Cal i f. Dept . of Fi sh and Game, Sac
ramento, Cal i f. , 1 953. ( Fi sh Bul l et i n No. 91 ) . An
excel l ent gui de. Di rect, i nformati ve text and fi ne
photographi c i l l ustrat i ons.
Smi t h, Phi l i p W. , THE fi SHES OF I LLI NOI S, publ i shed for
the I l l . State Nat . Hi s t . Survey by the Uni v. of I l l .
Press, Urbana, Chi cago, London, 1 979. Excel l ent
for fresh-water fi sh i denti fi cati on and ecol ogy.
Zi m and I ngl e, SEASHORES, A Gol den Gui de, Gol den
Press, New York, 1 955. A begi nner's gui de to al l
mari ne l i fe of the shores except fi shes, hence a hel pful
suppl ement. Ful l -col or i l l ustrat i ons.
CLI NG FI SH, a 4- i n.
rel ati ve of bl enni es.
(ventral vi ew)
1 54
WH E R 0 E u H
Study fi shes i n detai l at every opportuni ty. If you are a
good swi mmer, try s ki n di vi ng . Vi si t aquari a and mu
seums to see l i vi ng speci mens and prepared exhi bi t s .
Shedd Aquari um, Chi cago, I l l .
Mari ne Studi os, Mori nel ond, Fl a.
Stei nhart Aquari um, Son Franci sco, Cal i f.
John Pennekomp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo, Fl o.
Muni ci pal Aquari um, Key West, Fl a.
Ameri can Museum of Natural Hi story, New York Ci ty
Chi cago Natural Hi story Museum, Chi cago, I l l .
Mari ne bi ol ogi cal stati ons operate i n connect i on wi th
uni versi ti es and government conservat i on depart ments .
Research faci l i ti es and courses may be avai l abl e. I nqui re
before vi si t i ng .
Univ. of Mi ch . Bi oi . Stati on, Dougl as Lake, Cheboygan, Mi ch.
Univ. of Okl a. Bi oi . Stati on, Lake Texoma, Wi l l i s, Okl o.
Univ. of Mi nn. Lake l taska Bi oi . Stati on, Lake l taska P. O. , Mi nn.
Franz Stone l nst . of Hydrobi ol ogy, Put-i n- Bay, Ohi o
Mari ne Bi ol ogi cal Laboratory, Woods Hol e, Moss.
Duke Univ. Mari ne Laboratory, Beaufort, N. C.
Univ. of Mi ami Mari ne Laboratory, Coral Gobl es, Fl o.
Gul f Coast Research Laboratory, Ocean Spri ngs, Mi ss.
I nsti tute of Mori ne Sci ence, Port Aransas, Tex.
Scri pps I nsti tute of Oceanography, L a Jol l a, Cal i f.
Fri day Harbor Laboratori es, Univ. of Was h. , Fri day Harbor, Wash.
C I E 5
The fol l owi ng pages l i st the sci enti fi c names of t he species i l l ustroted. The number
refers to the pages on whi ch the fi sh is pi ctured; then fol l ows a name or part of a
nome that di sti ngui shes the fish from others on that page; then the sci enti fi c
name-first the genus, then the speci es. If the genus name i s abbrevi ated, i t i s the
same as the one j ust above i t. Atl anti c, Paci fi c, and fresh-water speci es are
identified by A, P, and F.
1 Tri chi urus lepturus, A
2 Trout, Sal mo aguaboni ta, F
Tri ggerfi sh; Bal i stes vetul a, A
8 Morone saxati l i s, APF
19 Lamprey: Petromyzon mari nus,
Trout: Salvel i nus namoycush, F
Hagfi sh, Myxi ne gl uti nosa, A
22 Hammer, Sphyrna zygaena, AP
Sandbar< Carcharhi nus pl um-
48 lake Wh. , Coregonus cl upea-
formi s, AF
beus, A Shortj aw, C. zeni thi cus, F
Dogfi sh, Squal us acanthi as, AP 49 Ci sco' C. artedi i , F
Nurse: Gi ngl ymostoma ci rratum, Raund Wh . , Prosopi um cyl i ndra-
A ceum, F
23 Whi te: Carcharadon carchari as, Grayl i ng, Thymal l us arcti cus, F
AP 50 Rai nbow: Osmerus mordox,
Tiger: Gal eocerdo cuvi eri , AP APF
Thresher, Al opi as vul pi nus, AP Whitebit, Allosmerus elongotus, P
Soupfin, Galeorhi nus zyapterus, P 51 Hatchet, Sternoptyx di aphana,
24 Rhi ncadon typus, AP A
25 Manta bi rostri s, A lantern, Myctophum affi ne, A
26 Barndoor: Raja laevi s, A 52 Angui l l a rostrate, AF
li ttl e Skate, R. eri nacea, A 53 Conger: Conger oceani cus, A
Torpedo, Torpedo nobi l i ana, A Worm: Myrophi s punctatus, A
27 Bl untnose: Dasyati s soyi , A 54 Green: Gymnothorax funebri s,
Round, Urol ophus hal l eri , P A
Butterfl y: Gymnura mi crura, A Spotted, G. mori nga, A
28 Sawfi sh: Pri sti s pecti nate, A 55 Smal l mouth, l cti obus bubal i s, F
Gui tarli sh, Rhi nobatos l enti gi no- Bi gm, I . cyrpi nel l us, F
sus, A 56 White: Catostomus commersoni, F
29 Ratli sh, Hydrol agus col l i ei , P Hog, Hypentel i um ni gri cans, F
Chi maera, Chi maera affi ni s, A Qui l l back, Carpi odes cypri nus, F
32 All . Sturgeon, Aci penser oxy- Redhorse: Moxostoma macrol e-
rhynchus, AF pi dotum, F
Shovel nose St . , Scaphi rhynchus 57 Cypri nus carpi o, F
pl atorhynchus spathul a, F 58 Dace, Cl i nostomus el ongatus, F
Paddl eli sh, Pol yodon spathul a, F Crek Ch. , Semotilus atromaculatus, F
33 longnose: Lepi sosteus osseus, F Golden Sh. , Notemigonus crysoleucas, F
Shortnose, l. pl atostamus, F 59 Thi cktai l Chub, Gi l a crassi -
34 El ops saurus, A cauda, F
35 Tarpon, Mega lops atl anti ca, A Dace, Phoxi nus erythrogaster, F
Bonefi sh, Al bul a vul pes, A Emeral d Sh. , Notropi s atheri -
36 Al osa pseudoharengus, AF noi des, F
37 A. sapi di ui ma, APF Cutl i ps: Exogl ossum maxi l l i n-
38 Sardi nops sagax, P gua, F
39 Brevoorti o tyrannus, A 60 lctal urus punctatus, F
40 Herri ng, Cl upea harengus, A 61 Tom: Noturus mi urus, F
Shad, Dorosoma cepedi anum, Stonecat, N. flavus, F
AF Fl athead, Pyl odi cti s ol i vari s, F
41 Bay, Anchoa mi tchi l l i , AF Bl ue, l ctal urus furcatus, F
Northern: Engraul i s mordax, P 62 Bl ack, I. mel as, F
42 Chum, Oncorhynchus keta, PF Yel l ow, I . natal i s, F
Pi nk, 0. gorbuscha, APF Brown, I . nebul osus, F
43 Chi nook, 0. tshawytscha, PF 63 Gofftopsai l : Bagre mari nus, A
Coho, 0. ki sutch, APF Hardhead, Ari as fel i s, A
4 0. nerka, PF 65 Pi ke: Esox l uci us, F
45 Sebago, Atl anti c, Sal mo sal ar, Musk el l ' E . masqui nongy, F
AF Grass : E. ameri canus, F
Cutthroat, S. cl arki , PF Chai n, E . ni ger, F
47 Brook, Sal vel i nus fonti nal i s, AF 66 Banded, Fundul us di aphanus, F
Rai nbow, Sal mo gai rdneri , APF Sheepshead, Cyprinoon varieotus, AF
Dol l y, Salvel i nus mal ma, PF Mosquitofish, Gambusia affi ni s, AF
lake Tr. , S. namaycush, F Mummicho, Fundulus heterolitus, AF
1 55
67 Needl e, Strongyl uro mari na, A
Halfbeak, Hyparhamphus unifas
ci atus, AP
1 56
Bllyhao, Hemiramphus brasiliensis, A
68 Cypsel urus mel anurus, A
69 Blackwing, Hirundichthys rondeleti, AP
California, Cypselurus califarnicus, P
Margi ned, C. cyanopterus, A
70 lata Iota, F
71 Gadus morhuo, A
72 Tomcod, Mi crogodus tomcod, AF
Pol l ock, Pol l ochi us vi rens, A
73 Mel onogrammus aegl efi nns, A
74 Merl ucci us bi l i neori s, A
75 Whi te, Urophyci s tenui s, A
Red, U. chuss, A
Southern, U. fl ori dono, A
76 Tri nectes macul atus, A
77 Smooth, li opsetta putnami , A
Pl ai ce, Hi ppogl ossoi des pl otes
soi des, A
Sout h . F l ounder . Parol i cht hys
lethosti gmo, A
78 Col . Hal i but, Porol i chthys col i
forni cus, P
Starry Fl . , Plotichthys stellatus, PF
Atl . Hal . , Hi ppagl ossus hi ppo
gl ossus, A
79 Brook, Culaeo i nconstons, F
Threespi ne: Gasterosteus acul ea
tus, APF
80 Shors, Hippampus erectus, A
Pi pefi sh, Syngnothus fuscus, A
81 Mul l et, Mugi l cephol us, AP
I nl and, Meni di o beryl l i no, AF
Brook, labidesthes si ccul us, F
82 Gruni on: Leuresthes tenui s, P
Jocksmel t, Atheri nopsi s cal i for
ni ensi s, P
83 Poe . ' Sphyroeno orgenteo, P
Great, S. barracuda, A
84 At I . , Scomber scombrus, A
Chub, S. j aponi cus, AP
Spani sh: Scomberomorus mocu
l otus, A
85 Ki ng, S. covol l o, A
Wahoo: Acanthocybi um sol an
deri , A
86 li ttl e Tunny, Euthynnus ol l ettera-
tus, A
Ski pj ack, E. pel omi s, AP
Al bacore, Thunnus al ol unga, AP
Boni to, Sardo sarda, A
87 Bl uefi n, Thunnus thynnus, AP
Yel l owfi n, Thunnus al bacores, AP
88 Bl ue' Makoi ro ni gri cons, AP
Stri ped, Tetrapturus audax, P
Whi te, T. ol bi dus, A
89 l sti ophorus pl atypterus, AP
90 Swordfi sh, Xi phi os gl ad i us, AP
li zardfi sh, Synodus foetens, A
91 Coryphoena hi ppurus, AP
92 Butter: Poronotus tri acanthus,
Harvest, Pepri l us ol epi dotus, A
93 Moonfi sh, Sel ene setopi nni s, A
lookdown: S. vomer, A
94 Crevol l e, Coronx hi ppos, A
Amberj ack, Seri ol o dumeri l i , A
95 Jack: Trachurus symmetri cus, P
Yel l owtai l , Seri ol a l ol andei , P
Fl ori da Pompano, Trachi notus
carol i nus, A
Permi t, T. fol cotus, A
96 Pi lotfi sh, Noucrotes ductor, AP
Bl uefi sh, Pomatomus saltatri x, A
97 Perch, Perea flovescens, F
Walleye, Stizostedi on vitreum, F
Rai nbow: Etheostoma caeru
l eum, F
Johnny, E . ni grum, F
98 Archopl i tes i nterruptus, F
9 largemouth, Mi cropterus s ol
moi des, F
Smal l mouth, M. dol omi eui , F
Spotted, M. punctul otus, F
1 00 Lepomi s macrochi rus, F
1 01 Pumpki nseed, l. gi bbosus, F
Green, l. cyanel l us, F
longear, l. megol oti s, F
1 02 l. mi crol ophus, F
1 03 Spotted, l. punctotus, F
Wormouth, Choenobryttus gulosus, F
Boss' Ambl opl ites rupestri s, F
1 04 Block: Pomoxis nigromoculatus, F
Whi te, P. annul ori s, F
1 06 Gi ant, Stereol epi s gi gas, P
Whi te, Marone chrysops, F
1 07 Wh. Perch, M. ameri cana, AF
Yel . Bass: M. mi ssi ssi ppi ensi s, f
1 08 Bl ock, Centropri sti s stri ata, A
Kel p: Paral abrax cl athratus, P
1 09 Warsaw, Epi nephel us ni gritus, A
Jewfi sh, E. i toj oro, A
1 1 0 Yel l owfi n, Mycteroperco vene
nosa, A
Red, Epi nephel us mori a, A
Bl ock, Mycteroperco bonoci , A
1 1 1 S, Centrous undecimolis, AF
Tripletoi l , lobtes surinomensis, A
1 1 2 Lutj anus apadus, A 1 32 Parrot: Scarus guacamai a, A
1 1 3 Red, L . campechanus, A Spade, Chaetodi pterus Iaber, A
Gray, L. gri seus, AF Sgt . , Abudeldul saxat i l i s, A
Yel l ow, Ocyurus chrysurus, A 1 33 Stopl i ght, Spari soma vi ri de, A
1 1 4 Ani sotremus vi rgi ni cus, A Bluehe& Thalassmo bilasciatum, A
1 1 5 Whi te, Haemul on pl umi eri , A Razor: Hemipteronotus novacula, A
Bl uestri ped, H. sci urus, A Reef, Chromi s margi natus, A
Tomtate: H . aurol i neatum, A 1 34 Ocean: Canthidermis sufflamen,
Piglish, Orthopristis chrysoptera, AF A
1 1 6 Scup' Stenotomus chrysops, A Gray, Bal i stes capri scus, A
Sheepshead, Archosargus pro- 1 35 Orange, AI uterus schoepli , A
batocephal us, AF Plan, Monconthus hispidus, A
1 1 7 Jol t, Cal amus baj onado, A 1 36 Cowish, Lactophrys quodricornis, A
Pi n: Lagodon rhomboi des, AF Trunkfi sh: L. tri gonus, A
Opaleye, Gi rel l a ni gri cans, P 1 37 Suthern, Sphoroides nphelus, A
1 1 8 Chub, Kyphosus sectatri x, A Smooth, Lagocephal us laeviga-
Silver Jenny, Eucinastomus gula, A Ius, A
1 1 9 Weakfi sh, Cynosci on regal i s, A 1 38 Porcupi ne' Di odon hystri x, AP
Spotted, C. nebul osus, AF Burr, Chi l omycterus schoepli , A
Bass: Atractoscion nobi l i s, P 1 39 Mola mal a, AP
1 20 At I . , Mi cropogoni os undul atus, A 1 40 Sharksucke" Echenei s nau-
Spotfi n, Roncador steorns i , P crates, A
1 2 1 Red, Sci oenops ocel l atus, AF Stargazer : Astroscopus gutta-
Bl ack, Pogoni as cromi s, A Ius, A
1 22 S. King: Mnticirrhus americanus, 1 41 Mi dshi pman' Pori chthys pl ec-
A trodon, A
Corbi na, M. undul atus, P Toadli sh, Opsanus beta, A
1 23 Lophol ati l us chamaeleonticeps, A 1 42 Hexagrommos decogrammus, P
1 24 Sea Raven: Hemi tri pterus amer- 1 43 Heterosti chus rostratus, P
i canus, A 1 44 St r i ped, Chas modes bosqu i -
Scul pi n, Myoxocephal us octode- anus, A
cemspi nosus, A Freckl ed, Hypsobl enni us i on-
1 25 Cabezon: Scorpaeni chthys mar- !has, A
moratus, P 1 45 Naked, Gobi osoma bosci , AF
Scul pi n, Coitus bai rdi , F Shorptai l , Gobionellus hostatus, A
1 26 Robi n: Pri onotus sci tul us, A Sler, Dormilator moculatus, A
Gurnard, Dactyl oplerus vol i - Long, Gi l l i chthys mi rabi l i s, P
tans, A 1 46 Anarhi chas l upus, A
1 27 Lump, Cycl opterus l umpus, A 1 47 Whi te, Phanerodon lurcatus, P
Snai l , Li pari s atl anti cus, A Bl ack, Embi otoca j acksoni , P
1 28 Chi l i , Sebasles goodei , P Barred: Amphi sti chus argen-
Bocacci o: 5. pauci spi ni s, P teus, P
1 29 Pl umed: Scorpaena grandi cor 1 48 Sargassum: Hi stri o hi stri o, A
ni s, A Seadevi l : Cryptopsaras couesi ,
Ocean P. : Sebastes mari nus, A A
1 30 Hagfish, Lachnalaimus maximus, A 1 49 Goose: Lophi us ameri canus, A
Tautog: Tautoga oni ti s, A Bat, Ogcocephal us nasutus, A
Sheephead, Semi cossyphus 1 50 Zeni on roseus, A
pul cher, P 1 5 1 Buckl er: Zenopsi s conchi fera, A
1 3 1 Queen: Hol aconthus ci l i ari s, A Li ttl e, Zeni on hol ol epi s, A
Spotfi n, Chaetodon ocel l atus, A Scorp. : Setarches parmatus, A
French, Pomacanthus paru, A Barbi er: Hemanthi as vi vanus, A
1 57
1 5 8
Asteri sks ( * ) desi gnate pages where fi shes are pi ctured. Keep i n mi nd that i n thi s
i ndex both preferred and al ternate names are l i sted, but the pi ctures are
capti oned wi th the preferred names onl y.
Adaptati ons of fi shes, 7
Al bacores, *86
Al evi n, * 44
Al ewi fe, *36, 37
Amateur acti vi ti es, * 1 6
Amberj ack, *94, 95
Anchovi es, * 4 1
Angel fi shes, * 1 3 1 , 1 32
Angl ers, * 1 48, * 1 49
Argenti ne, 50
Bal ance, sense of, 7
Bal l yhoo, 67
Barracudas, * 1 0, *83
Basses, 98, *99
Kel p, * 1 08
largemouth, 98, * 99
rai si ng, 1 05
Rock, 1 02, * 1 03
Sea, 1 06, * 1 08,
* 1 09
Smal l mouth, 98, *99
Spotted, 98, *99
Stri ped, *8
s ur f fi shi ng for,
* 1 07
Temperate, * l 06,
* 1 07
Whi te, * 1 06, 1 07
Yellow, * 1 07
Batfi sh, * 1 49
Bl ackfi sh, * 1 52
Bl enni es, 1 43, * 1 44,
1 46, 1 53
Bl uefi sh, *96
Bl uegi l l s , *1 00, 1 05
Bl uehead, 1 30, * 1 33
Bocacci o, * 1 28
Bonefi sh, * 1 0, 34- *35
Boni tos, * 86
Bony fi shes, * 30- * 31
Bottom fi shes, * 1 0
Bowfi n, 3 1
Brai n structure, * 7
Branch Herri ng, *36
Bream , *1 00, 1 03,
* 1 1 7
Buffal os, *55, 60
Bul l heads, 60, *62
Burbot, * 70
Burrfi sh, * 1 38, 1 39
Butterfi sh, * 1 1 , *92
Butterfl yfi shes, * 1 3 1
Cabezon, * 1 25
Candl efi sh, 50
Carp, 56, *57, 58, 66
Corpsuckers , *56
Catfi shes, 6, *1 0,
* 60- * 63
Bl ue, * 61
Bri ndled Mad tom,
* 61
Channel , *6, * 60
European, 60
Fl athead, * 61
Gafftapsai l , *63
Hardhead, *63
Mari ne, *63
Ocean Catfi sh, * 1 46
Stonecat, * 61
Whi te, 60
Cavi ar, 32
Chi l i pepper, * 1 28
Chi maeras, * 29
Chubs, *58, *59, * 1 1 8
Ci scas, 48- 49
Cl i ngfi shes , 1 44, * 1 53
Cad, *6, * 70- *72, 73,
1 29
Col l ecti ng fi shes, 1 7
Conservati on, 1 3
Corbi na, * 1 22
Cowfi sh, * 1 36
Crappi es, * 1 04
Creval l e, * 94
Croakers, * 1 1 9- * 1 22
Cul ti vati on of fi shes,
* 1 05
Cutl assfi sh, * 1 , 53
Dabs, 76, * 77
Dace, *58, *59
Damsel fi sh, 1 32
Darters, *97
Deep-sea fi shes,
* 1 50- * 1 5 1
Devel opment of,
Cod, * 71
fi shes, * 1 4- * 1 5
F l ounder, * 76-*77
Dogfi sh, Spi ny, 1 0- * 1 1 ,
* 22
Dol phi n (fi sh) , * 91
Dol phi n (mammal ) , * 1 52
Dorado, * 91
Dory, * 1 50, * 1 5 1
Drums, * 1 2 1 , 1 40
Eel l arvae, * 52, *53
Eel s, *6, * 1 1 , *52- *54
Sl i me Eel , * 1 9
Egg cases, Skates', *26
Eggs, guarded by Toad
fi sh, * 1 4 1
El ectri c organs o n Star-
gazer, * 1 41
Eyesi ght of fi shes, * 7
Fal se Al bacore, * 86
Fami l y Tree, *30- * 3 1
Fat Sl eeper, * 1 45
Fi el d studi es, 1 6
Fi l eli shes, * 1 35
Fi shes:
adaptati ons, 7
and water, 1 0
as wi l dl i fe, 1 3
bal ance, sense of, 7
bottom fi shes, * 1 0
brai n structure, *7
col l ect i ng, 1 7
cul ti vati on, * 1 05
di stri but i on, 6
eyesi ght, * 7
fi el d studi es, 1 6
i denti fi cat i on, 1 8
i nternal structure, *9
maj or groups, * 4- * 5
mi grati ons, 1 0
names, 7
ori gi n and devel op-
ment, * 1 4- * 1 5
parts of, * 8
pel agi c fi shes, * 1 0
photography, * 1 7
Fi shes (cont . ) , Jacks, *93- *96 Opal eye, * 1 1 7
poi sonous, 33, 1 37 Jacksmel t, * 82
Paci fi c Sardine, *38
scal es, * 1 2 Jel lyfi sh, * 1 52
shapes, 1 1 Jewfi shes, * 1 09
Paddlefi sh, *32
speci al studi es, 1 8
Parr, *44
tai l s, * 1 2
Kel pfi shes, * 1 43
Parrotfi sh, * 1 32, * 1 33
tank studi es, 1 6
Ki l l i fi sh, *66
Pel agi c fi shes, * 1 0
Fi shi ng, 1 3
Ki ngfi sh, * 1 22
Perches, *97, 98, * 1 1 7
Fi shi ng banks, New
Ocean, * 1 29
Engl and, *73
Ladyfi sh, * 34
Permi t, *95
Flatfi shes, *76-*78
lake Herri ng, *49
Photography, * 1 7
Flounder, * 1 1 , *76, *77,
Lampreys, * 1 9
Pi ckerel , 64, *65
Lanternfi sh, * 51
Pi gfi sh, 1 1 4, * 1 1 5
Fl ukes, 76
Lati meri a, 3 1
Pi ke, 64, *I5
Flyingfishes, 67, *68-*69,
Lings, 74, *75
Pi l chards, *38
1 26
Li zardfi sh, *90
Pi l otfi sh, *49, *96
Lookdown, *93
Pi nfi sh, * 1 1 7
Gars, *33
lumi nescent fishes, * 51
Pi pefi sh, * 1 1 , *80
Gi zzard Shad, *40
Lumpfi sh, * 1 27
Pl ai ce, * 77
Gobi es, 3 1 , 1 44, * 1 45
Lungfi sh, 31
Pl ankton, 1 3, 1 05
Goldfi sh, *57
Mackerel , * 1 0, * 1 1 ,
Poi sonous fi shes, 33, 1 37
Goosefi sh, * 1 49 Pol l ock, * 72
Gouromi , 3 1
*84- *87, 89
Pompanos, 92, 94, *95,
Grayl i ng, *49
Atl anti c, *84
Greenl i ngs, * 1 42
Cero, *85
Ponds, farm, 1 05
Groupers, * 1 09, * 1 1 0
Chub, *84
Porcupi nefish, * 1 38, 1 39
Gruni on, * 82
Ki ng, *85
Porgi es, * 1 1 6, * 1 1 7, 1 1 8
Grunts, * 1 1 4- * 1 1 5, 1 1 7
Pai nted, 84
Porkfi sh, * 1 1 4
Gui tarfi shes, *28
Si erra, 84
Porpoise, * 1 52
Gurnards, Fl yi ng, * 1 26
Spani sh, *84, 85
Portuguese Man-of War,
Wahoo, *85
* 1 52
Haddock, *73 Madtom, * 61
Puffers, * 1 1 , * 1 37, 1 38
Hagfishes, * 1 9 Manta, *20, *25
Pumpki nseed, * 1 0 1
Hakes, *74, *75 Marl i ns, *88, 90, 1 40
Purse sei ni ng for sardi nes,
Hal fbeaks, * 1 0, *67 Menhaden, * 39, 89
Hal i buts, 76, *78 Mi dshi pman, 5 1 , * 1 4 1
Harvestfi sh, *92 Mi grati ons ol fi shes, 1 0 Qui l l back, *56
Hatchetfi sh, * 51 Mi l t, poi sonous, 33
Ratfi shes, *29
Headfi sh, * 1 39 Mi nnows, *57-*59, 66
Herri ng-l i ke fishes, *34- Moj arras, * 1 1 8
Rays, * 20-* 2 1 , *25- *28
*35 Moonfi sh, * 93
Razorfi sh, 1 30, * 1 33
Her r i ngs, 34, *36- *40, Morays, *54
Redfi sh, * 1 29, * 1 30
4 1 , 87 Mosqui tofi sh, *66
Red horse, *56
Atl anti c, *40 Mossbunker, *39
Reef fi sh, 1 32, * 1 33
Branch, *36 Mudsucker, * 1 45
Remoras, * 1 40
Lake, *49 Mul l ets, * 81
Ri bbon Worm, * 1 52
Paci fi c, 40 Mummi chog, * 66
Rock Bass, 1 02, * 1 03
Thread, 40 Muskel l unge, 64, *65
Rockfish, * 1 42
Hogchoker, *76
Rockfi shes, * 1 28, 1 29
Hagfi sh, * 1 30
Names ol fi shes, 7 Rock Trout, 1 42
Houndfi sh, 67
Needlefi shes, *67 Roe, 32, 33, 1 25
ldent. ol fi shes, 1 8
Ocean Catfi sh, 1 46
"Sacred Cod, " *70
Ocean Perch, * 1 29
Sai l fi sh, *89, 90
Jack Mackerel , *95
Ocean Sunfi sh, * 1 39
Sai l or's Choi ce, * 1 1 7
1 5 9
1 60
Sal mon, * 6, * 42- * 45,
46, 48, 50
Atl ant i c, * 45
Chi nook, * 43
Chum, * 42, 43
Coho, *43
Dog, 43
Humpback, 43
Ki ng, *43
Paci fi c, 42, 45
Pi nk, *42, 43
Red, *44
Sebago, *45
Si lver, *43
Sockeye, * 44
Sardi nes, *38, 87
purse sei ni ng for, * 38-
* 39
Sargassumfi shes, * 1 48,
1 49
Sorgo, 1 1 4
Sauger, 97
Sawfi sh, * 28
Scal es of fi shes, * 1 2
School master, * 1 1 2
Sci enti fic names, 1 54- 1 57
Scorpi onfi shes, 1 28,
* 1 29, * 1 5 1
Scrod, 70
Scul pi ns, * 1 24, * 1 25,
1 26, 1 28
Scup, * 1 1 6
Sea Basses, 96, 1 06,
* 1 08, * 1 09, 1 1 1 ,
* 1 1 9
Bl ack, * 1 08
Gi ant, * 1 06
Grouper, * 1 09, * 1 1 0
Jewfi shes, * 1 09
Kel p Bass, * 1 08
Red Barbi er, * 1 5 1
Whi te, * 1 1 9
Seohorses, *80
Seaperches, * 1 47
Sea Raven, * 1 24, 1 25
Searobi ns, * 1 26, 1 28
Sea Snai l s , * 1 27
Sea Snake, * 1 52
Seatrout, * 1 1 9, * 1 42
Sergeant Maj or, * 1 32
Shad, 36, *37, *40
Sharks, * 20- * 24, 3 1 ,
1 40
Baski ng, 24
Bl ue, 22
Sharks (cont . ) '
Hammerhead, * 22
Nurse, * 22
Sandbar, * 22
Smooth Hammerhead,
Soupfi n, * 23
Spi ny Dogfi sh, * 22
Thresher, * 23
Ti ger, *23
Whal e, * 24, 25, 31
Whi te, * 23
Sharksuckers, * 1 40
Sheephead, 1 1 6, * 1 30
Shel l cracker, * 1 02
Shi ners, *58, *59
Si l ver Jenny, * 1 1 8
Si l vers i des, * 81 , 82
Skates, *26
Ski n di vi ng, * 1 6, 1 7
Ski pj ack, *86, 87
Sl eeper, * 1 45
Sl i me Eel , * 1 9
Smel ts, *50, *82
Smol t, *44
Snappers, * 1 1 2, * 1 1 3 ,
1 1 4
Snook, * 1 1 1
Sol es, *76
Spadefi sh, * 1 32
Squeteogue, * 1 1 9
Squi d, 87
Starfi sh, * 1 52
Stargazers, 1 40, * 1 4 1
Sti ckl ebacks, * 79
Sti ngarees, * 27
Sti ngrays, * 1 0, * 27
Stonecat, * 6 1
Stumpknocker, * 1 03
Sturgeons, *32
Suckers, 55, *56
Shark, 1 40
Sunfi shes, *98, * 1 00-
* 1 04
Ocean, * 1 39
Surf fi shi ng for bass,
* 1 07
Surfperch, * 1 47
Swel l fi shes, * 1 37
Swordfi sh, *90, 1 40
Tank studi es, 1 6
Tarpon, *6, 34- * 35, 40
Taste, sense of, 7
Tautog, * 1 30
Temperate Bosses, * 1 06,
* 1 07
Gi ant Sea Bass, * 1 06
Paci fi c Jewfi sh, 1 06
Stri ped Bass, * 8, 1 06
Whi te Bass, * 1 06, 1 07
White Perch, 1 06, * 1 07
Yel l ow Boss, 1 06, * 1 07
Ten-pounder, *34
Ti l efi sh, * 1 23
Toadfi sh, * 1 4 1
Tomcod, * 72
Tomtote, 1 1 4, * 1 1 5
Topmi nnows, *66
Topsmel t, 82
Torpedo, *26
Tri ggerfi sh, * 2 , * 1 34
Tri pl etai l , * 1 1 1
Tropi cal mari ne fi shes,
1 32 -
* 1 33
Trout, * 2, *6, * 1 9, 42,
* 45- *47
Brook, * 6, 46, * 47
Brown , 46
Cutthroat, *45
Dol l y Varden, 46, * 47
Gol den, * 2
Lake, * 1 9, 46, *47
Rai nbow, 46, * 47
Red Rock, 1 42
Steel head, 46, *47
Trunkfi shes, * 1 36
Tuna fi shi ng, 38
Tunas, 68, *86- *87
Turbots, 76
Vi perfi sh, 51
Wahoo, *85
Wal l eye, *97
Wal l eye Pol l ock, 72
Warmouth, 1 02, * 1 03
Warsaw, * 1 09
Warted Seodevi l , * 1 48
Water and fi shes, 1 0
Weakfi sh, * 1 1 9
Wei r, herri ng, *40
Whol e Sharks, *24, 25,
3 1
Whi tebai t , *50, 8 1
Whi tefi sh, * 48- * 49
Whi ti ngs, 7 4, 1 22
Wol ffi shes, * 1 46
Wrasses, * 1 30, * 1 33
Yel l owtai l , *95
N 0 P Q S T
HERBERT S. ZIM, Ph. D. , Sc. D. , an originator and former
editor of the Golden Guide Series, was also an author for
many years. Author of some ninety boks and editor of
abut as many, he is now Adjunct Professor at the Uni
versity of Miami and Educational Consultant to the Amer
ican Friends Service Committee and other organizations.
He works on educational, population and environmental
HURST H. SHOEMAKER, Ph. D. , Associate Professor of
Zoology Emritus at the University of Illinois, has studied
at the Edmund Niles Huyck Presere and at Stanford
University; conducted surveys of fish for the state of Illi
nois; and taught at the Unversity of Chicago and the Gulf
Coast Research Laboratory. Dr. Shoemaker is Curator of
Fishes (volunteer) at the Museum of Natural History,
University of Illinois.
JAMES GORDON IRVING has exhibited paintings at
the American Museum of Natural History and the Na
tonal Audubon Society. In the Golden Guide Series he
has illustrated Mammals, Birds, Insects, Reptiles and Am
phibins, Stars, Fishes, and Gamebirds.