Can You Spot this Fish?
By Lindsay Bradshaw, Animal Care Manager
The spotted bay bass (or spotted sand bass) is a fish unlike any other. He is large, silver, and covered in dark spots. He can swim quickly, but also likes to rest at the bottom, propping himself up with his two large pectoral fins. Here at the Living Coast, we feed our spotted bay bass chopped up pieces of squid, mackerel, herring, smelt and clam tongue. A diet with lots of variety helps keep the fish healthy. The spots on the fish act as camouflage – when the fish is swimming around in kelp and sea grass, the sunlight filters through the vegetation and causes spots of light and shadow to be cast down to the bottom. The pattern of spots on the fish helps him look just like a rock when he rests on the bottom and it tricks his predators who don’t even see him resting there. He is found right here in San Diego bay, so if you go snorkeling, see if you have a keen enough eye to spot this elusive spotted fish.
Lindsay Bradshaw is the Animal Care Manager at the Living Coast Discovery Center. She has worked for several animal-focused organizations, including Birch Aquarium at Scripps, Nature and Raptor Center of Pueblo, Maui Ocean Center, and the Vancouver Aquarium.