Photos from the 2010 Tropical Fish Hunt

Photos from the 2009 Tropical Fish Rescue

Photos from the 2008 Tropical Fish Hunt

 

Tropical Fish Collecting

Tropical fish come up the gulf stream as eggs on broken seaweeds, hatch, and make their way into the warm eddies and nooks and crannies of the southern New England coast. The water this time of year can be in the low to mid 70's (yes, not a typo- like Florida in the winter) and you can typically wear 1/2 of a wetsuit, no gloves, and a hood only to allow being in the water for 4 hours plus. Seeing these little waifs is fun, trying to catch them is a challenge. Easy diving - no deeper than 25 feet - often 10-15 feet works, in fact snorkeling at low tide is as successful as diving at high tide!

By the way, this is a win-win-win situation - the fish will die if not caught, by late fall because of cold water temps, the aquarium llikes the juvenile fish (they don't need to collect as many in the Bahamas), and it's FUN for us!

If you...

  • want to see some fish you don't normally find around here
  • Want to dive without a 7mm wetsuit in New England
  • Need fish for your own fishtank,
  • Want to help the Aquarium,
  • or just want to save the lives of some fish (they'd die when the water turns cold in the Fall)

Contact the Environmental Officer or look at the dive calendar. Every year we hold an Annual BBQ Tropical Fish Rescue in Rhode Island, usually in September. Other tropical fish collecting trips will be posted.

Some equipment that is helpfull to catch (often very small) the fish include:

  • Catch bag - doesn't have to be huge, but the kind that goes over your arm is good.
  • Some Gallon or larger ziplock type baggies - the kind which change color when you seal them... good for working underwater.
  • One large and one medium size fish-nets for each diver/snorkeler - the larger green or white mesh net size ... don't even bother with the smaller ones
  • A tropical fish book (marine) from the Caribbean - We can point out the more common species seen... In the past we have spotted spot fin butterfly fish, snowy grouper, trunk/cow fish, southern puffers, blue spotted coronet fish, gray triggers, pipe fish and file fish.
  • Dive gear is the normal mask fins snorkel, use a hood, skip the gloves, full wetsuit or shorty with a skin underneath works... hood keeps you in the water longer. What works out best is to dive during high tide, snorkel at low tide.



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