The ocean pout is eel-like in form, its body about 8 times as long as it is deep, moderately flattened sidewise, and tapering backward from abreast of the pectorals, where it is deepest, to a pointed tail. It is very soft, its scales are very small, and it is slimy as an eel. The ocean pout can be classed as a cool-water fish, for the great majority of them, in whatever part of their geographic range, are in temperatures at least no higher than about 62„aF. The American ocean pout feeds on a wide variety of shelled mollusks, univalve and bivalve, on crustaceans large and small, on echinoderms and on other invertebrates. The American eelpout lays eggs, spawning takes place in September and October. Ocean pouts in southern New England waters may be expected to reach 6 inches when between 1 and 2 years old; 12 inches at 3 years; and 24 inches when between 6 and 7 years, the very large fish of 36 inches and upward being 12 to 15 years old. It is researched for its blood which is used for cytoskeletal studies.
Check our Fish Slides database for photos and catch records.
Bigelow, Henry B., William C. Schroeder. 1953. Fishes of the Gulf of Maine. Fishery Bulletin, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, vol 53, no. 74
Robins, C. Richard, Ray, G. Carleton, Douglass, John, 1986, A Field Guide to Atlantic Coast Fishes of North America, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston
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Taken on Georges Bank