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Kodiak Fisheries Research Center Aquarium & Touch Tank

Collected Fish of Chiniak Bay


Photo of a Flatbottom Sea Star
There is only one species of prowfish, Zaprora silenus, in the family Zaproridae. This fish is recognized by the blunt face, large pores on head ringed with blue or white, no pelvic fins, and a large caudal fin. Prowfish range along the Pacific coast of North America from the Gulf of Alaska to Monterey Bay, California, and also to Japan. The largest prowfish on record was 34.5 inches (88 cm). Prowfish are generally found near the bottom at depths of 29-357 meters, however usually above 183 m. The young are pelagic, often associated with jellyfish.
Scientific name: Greek za (an intensifying prefix) and prora (prow); and silenus (a drunkard Greek demigod who fell in a marsh on a revel and became covered with slime).

Starry Founder

Photo of a Mottled Sea Star
The starry flounder, Platichthys stellatus, is one of about 100 species of Right-eye Flounders in the family Pleuronectidae, 22 species from the Gulf of Alaska to California. You may notice that the flounder shown here is a left-eyed flounder; in our area 60-70% are left-eyed. Starry flounders are common on soft bottom near shore, often in estuaries, out to 274 m. They range along the Pacific coast of North America from Alaska to Santa Barbara, California, and from the Bering Sea, Alaska to Japan. Starry Flounder are recognized for their rough, "stellate" skin and the dark bands on the dorsal, anal and caudal fins.
Scientific name: Greek platy (flat) and ichthys (fish); and Latin for stellatus (starry).


Photo of a Redbanded Sea Star
The searcher, Bathymaster signatus, is differentiated from other ronquils, family Bathymasteridae, by a conspicuous black spot at the front of the dorsal fin. Searchers are found only in the north Pacific ocean, and range from the east Siberian Sea and Bering Sea to Queen Charlotte Island off British Columbia, Canada. Their preferred habitat is sandy bottom offshore to 61-152 m, but other details are not well known for this species. Length to 30 cm (12 inches).
Scientific name: Greek bathys (deep), master (searcher); and Latin signatus (marked).

Black Rockfish

Photo of a Rose Sea Star
The black rockfish, Sebastes melanops, is one of about 60 species of rockfish in the family Scorpaenidae. The black rockfish is wide-ranging recorded from Amchitka Island, one of the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, to San Miguel Island in southern California. They are a schooling rockfish that often congregates off rocky reefs nearshore to deep banks in open water to 1200 feet. They are a popular sportfish known as black bass. Length up to 23 inches (59 cm).
Scientific name: Greek sebastos (magnificent), melas (black) and ops (face).

Rock Greenling

Photo of a Leather Sea Star
The rock greenling, Hexagrammous lagocephalus, in the family Hexagrammidae, is noted for the prominent cirri, or fringelike skin flaps, and dark spot above the eye. They range in the North Pacific from southern California to the Bering Sea and the Kuril Islands, Russia, preferring rocky nearshore habitats, especially on exposed coastlines. Length up to 61 cm (24 inches). The sexes of this species show color differences; this photograph is of a male.
Scientific name: Greek hex (six) and gramma (line); lagos (hare) and cephelos (head).

Crested Sculpin

Photo of a Sun Sea Star
The crested sculpin, Blepsias bilobus, in the family Hemitripteridae, is recognized by its compressed body and multiple cirri on the snout and lower jaw. The crested sculpin ranges from Kamchatka, Russia and Toyama Bay in Japan, the Commander Islands, along the Aleutian Islands through southern Alaska to northern British Columbia, Canada. The crested sculpin is generally found in shallow coastal waters. Length up to 25 cm (10 inches). In the Auke Bay Laboratory (NMFS, Juneau, AK), these sculpins were observed to slough or molt their skin periodically (Millstein, 1998).
Scientific name: Greek blepo (look-an old fish name) and the Latin bi (two) and lobus (lobe-two dorsal fins, each smoothly contoured).

Photographs by Jan Haaga

To view more photos of fish, invertebrates, marine mammals and more, visit the Alaska Fisheries Science Center's MultiMedia Gallery.

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