Photographer Joyce Grogan got in some crabbing this week between showers. She grabbed a shot of a happy little sea lion resting on a rock, likely put there by a former higher tide. Also a picture of a little dungey and an odd looking fish that wandered into the pot. Anybody have any idea what kind of fish Joyce snagged?
11am FISH IDENTIFIED. But this initial identification has been disputed! See below!
Lonn Johnston says the fish is called a Cabezon! And we looked it up on Wikipedia. And here’s what they say about it:
The cabezon is a scaleless fish with a broad bony support extending from the eye across the cheek just under the skin. Normally it has 11 spines on the dorsal fin. The cabezon also has a stout spine before the eye, an anal fin of soft rays, and a fleshy flap on the middle of the snout. A pair of longer flaps are just behind the eyes. The mouth is broad with many small teeth. The coloring varies, but is generally mottled with browns, greens and reds. Over 90% of red fish are males, whereas over 90% of green fish are females. It reaches a weight of up to 25 pounds. As the Spanish-origin name implies, the fish has a very large head relative to its body.
Distribution and habitat
Cabezon are found from northern British Columbia to southern California and from Virginia down to southern Florida. They frequent kelp beds from shallow to moderate depths.
BUT WAIT!! We’ve just received word that the fish is not a Cabezon! We’re told by those who work for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife that the fish is a “Brown Irish Lord,” Hemilepidotus, spinosis, which is a member of the same sculpin family as the Cabezon. Butit’s a different family member. And that’s from Steve Kupillas, Liason to ODFW’s West Coast Groundfish Observer Program!
What’s more, Steven reports that the Wikipedia reference has an inaccuracy in it. He says that Cabezon’s do not frequent the waters of the east coast. Oh my!