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Sculpin (Cottoidea)



  • Habitats Inshore, Nearshore

"Sculpin" is a broad term that refers to over a hundred species of fish. With varieties occuring in both fresh and salt water all over the world, they are a widespread family. What unites them all are their prickly dorsal fins and their habitat: these fish prefer to stay on the bottom of the water.

There are three main species of Freshwater Sculpin in the United States: the attractive-sounding Slimy Sculpin, which lives in the New England Area, the Mottled Sculpin, which is widely distributed across America, and the Deep-Water Sculpin, which lives at the bottom of freshwater lakes in North America. 

However, if you are fishing for "Sculpin" in saltwater on the West Coast, it's likely that you're in for an unusual surprise. What commonly bears that name there is actually the Californian Scorpionfish, a mythically ugly bottom dweller whose venomous spines can cause some pretty serious stings to anyone who doesn't take due care when touching them.

Although these are prickly creatures to handle, they make for a wonderful meal. But would you risk it?

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