Benthic fish

Many bottom-dwelling fish species like halibut, lingcod, rockfish, and sculpins consume herring of various sizes and in various quantities (herring make up 70% of the diet of lingcod). The ecology group of the Herring School [link/photo] documented that rockfish eat herring eggs off of seaweed or by swallowing the seaweed with the eggs attached to it. Female rockfish especially target the protein rich eggs. Eating the herring eggs likely helps boost their egg production.


Stomach content of rockfish showed regular content of herring eggs. Photo: Mark Wunsch

rockfish eaten herring

Ecologist Anne Salomon holding a juvenile herring that was retrieved from this rockfish. Photo: Mark Wunsch


Friday, January 24, 2014