Black Prickleback Fish
Black prickleback are small fish with a small head and pointed oblique mouth. It has a long dorsal fin that runs into its tail fin giving the illusion of having a full-body fin. The tail fin is rounded and joins with the anal fin. It has no ventral fins and pectoral fins are very small. It is a favorite meal for the Great Blue Heron. Read More….
A favorite in the recreational fishery, the Chinook salmon is the biggest of the salmon with some reaching as much as 45 kilos in weight. Chinook reproduction happens mainly in major river systems, the most important of which in BC is the Fraser River. Substantial numbers of Chinook are also found in the Yukon River. Read More….
Coho is sometimes called bluebacks because of the bluish coloring on their backs. They have white gums, black tongues and a few spots on the upper portion of their bodies, and silver-colored tails. They have a wide tail base. Bright silver with a metallic blue dorsal surface. Read More….
Great Sculpin are quite a large fish in the sculpin family, they can be seen sitting on the bottom of rocky reefs, but you must look hard for them as they blend in very well. They can be identified by their large and flat head that just seems to be too big for them. Read More….
Green Penpoint Gunnel
Green penpoint gunnel can be found on the shoreline areas of the pacific northwest coast, usually in the shallows. It can sometimes even be found in tidal pools, or look in eelgrass beds, sea lettuce beds, or in stands of kelp. It will take on the color of the vegetation around it. Read More….
Grunt sculpin is a small fish, but it has a very large head, a high forehead, and a long snout ending in a small mouth. The eyes are small and deep-set. It is a strange-looking little fellow, to say the least. On the other hand, I think they are also very beautiful little fish as well. Read More….
Kelp Greenlings can be found from Alaska to California including all the waters along the BC coastal region. They are found in rocky inshore areas and are common in kelp beds and on sand bottoms from the shoreline shallows down to 50 meters deep. Read More….
Lingcod are large predators with huge mouths armed with numerous sharp teeth. They are brown with darker marks of different colors, spots, or shades on the back and sides. Female lingcod can grow up to 150 cm, although males rarely exceed 100 cm. I have seen females weighing in at above 30 kilos. Read More….
Longfin gunnel is a species of marine fish in the family Pholidae. It is a small fish that can remain out of the water and breathe air. It can be found all along the Pacific coast, including the waters surrounding Vancouver Island, look for it in shallow waters. Read More….
Halibut are a member of the flounder family. They have a flat body with eyes on the right side. The skin on the top side is mottled to blend into the ocean floor and can be olive green, brown, or almost black in color depending on where the fish was caught. The underside is snow white. Read More….
Pacific octopuses can average 45 kilos but can reach weights of 275 kilos, and their arm spans can be up to 6 meters across. Their feed on crustaceans with Dungeness crabs being their favorite meal, but they also eat clams, squid, and other species of octopus; and fish. Read More….
Pacific Staghorn Sculpin
Pacific staghorn sculpin has a slender body that is grayish olive with pale creamy yellow sides, a white belly, a large flattened head, and a large mouth. The soft dorsal fin is dusky, with a black spot near its rear with a white band below, and the pectoral fins are yellow with five or six dark greenish bands. They can reach lengths of 30 cm. Read More….
The painted greenling is a common fish in the Pacific Northwest coastal waters, but they are not often seen, you should enjoy the sighting when one is found. The painted greenling can be found from Alaska to California but are quite rare from Vancouver Island north. They can be found from shoreline shallows to around 50 meters deep. Read More….
Pink salmon have tiny scales and a tail heavily marked with large oval spots. Unlike the other salmon species, the tail of a pink has no silver in it. In the sea, pinks have silver bodies with spotted backs. They are the smallest of the Pacific salmon, usually weighing about 2.2 kg, but occasionally reaching 5.5 kg. Read More….
Pipefish is a long slender fish that tapers at both ends. The body is cross-sectioned into 2 parts. the part in front of the vent is 6 sided and behind the vent is 4 sided. A series of bony plates running along each side. They are considered a seahorse, but they are not, they are indeed fish, although they do look like a straightened out seahorse. Read More….
Red Irish Lord
Red Irish Lord fish is a thickly built fish with a long, wide-body, very large head, and a big mouth. The body of the red Irish lord is mostly red, with white, brown, and black mottling. It has a large head and bulging eyes. It has up to 12 dorsal spines, 20 dorsal soft rays, and 35 vertebrae. Read More….
Rock Fish are bass-like in appearance, with large mouths and eyes, spines on the head and gill plates, and prominent fins. Color varies between species with shallow water types generally having dark colors like green, brown, or black, and deep water species usually have more orange or red coloring. Read More….
Sockeye is almost toothless, with numerous long gill and prominent, glassy eyes. The slimmest and most streamlined of the Pacific species, the silver-blue sockeye lives from four to five years. It usually weighs between 2 kg and 4 kg but can reach 7 kg. Read More….
Tide Pool Sculpin
The Tide Pool Sculpin is a very common fish along the shores of the Pacific Northwest from Alaska to Washington. Though these fish only reach about 8 cm and live a maximum of five years, they thrive in the turbulent waters of the intertidal zone. Read More….
Wolf Eels are one of the most interesting species found in the pacific northwest waters. Wolf eels are easy to identify, when young, their coloration is a burnt orange-spotted look that gradually changes into a dominant grey for males and brown for females. Read More….
Yellow Shriner Perch
The body of the yellow shiner perch is oval in shape and the head is short with a small mouth, they have big eyes. The body is gray to green above with vertical yellow crossbars and 8 horizontal lines along the sides. Yellow shiners can be found from Alaska, all the way to Southern California, including all of Vancouver Island. Read More….
Vancouver Island’s surrounding waters are full of Saltwater Fish. The variety of life is overwhelming. From the salmon to the coral, from the jellyfish to the kelp. It’s awesome to observe. Tidal pools are a great place to start.
The black prickleback is a small fish with a small head and pointed oblique mouth. It has a long dorsal fin that runs into its tail fin giving the illusion of having a full-body fin. The tail fin is rounded and joins with the anal fin. It has no ventral fins and pectoral fins are very small. It looks like an eel.
Another of our famous fish species is the Coho Salmon, they are sometimes called blue backs because of their bluish coloring on their backs. Coho have white gums, black tongues, and a few spots on the upper portion of their bodies, and silver-colored tails. Coho has a wide tail base. Bright silver with a metallic blue dorsal surface.
Wolf Eels are one of the more interesting species found in the pacific northwest waters. Wolf eels are easy to identify, when young, their coloration is a burnt orange-spotted look that gradually changes into a dominant grey for males and brown for females.
One of my favorite shallow water fish is the grunt sculpin. It is a small fish with a very large head, high forehead, and a long snout ending in a small mouth. The eyes are small and deep-set. A strange-looking little fellow.
They are a creamy yellow on the back and sides with brown blotches on the head and narrow brown bars running downward and forward on the body. There are red on the first part of the dorsal, tail, anal, and pectoral fins. There is orange on the ventral fins and lower rays of the pectoral fins. They have a black spot at the base of each ray of the pectoral fin.
These fish can be found from Alaska to Northern California including all of Vancouver Island. Though the grunt sculpin is a relatively common fish on the coast of Vancouver Island, you will hardly ever see them. The grunt sculpin prefers shallow water along rocky shores, although it has been seen at 90 fathoms. It got its name because sometimes when the fish is removed from the water, it makes a grunting sound.
The fish that live in our seas are there if you look. Just take a beach walk to see what you can see, you will be amazed.