Critters From The Deep
There are all kinds of interesting scavengers that hang out on the ocean floor. Some of them have a surprising range of habitat and live in the intertidal zone but also out in the deeper water, 1500 ft, where we have been fishing. Our Black Cod traps baited with squid must smell pretty good because we attract some interesting characters!
Here are a couple examples of our visitors:
Tanner Crab & Whelk
Miscellaneous Organisms Along for the ride
If you look closely at both of these critters you'll notice that there's a whole community of tiny seaweeds and animals like anemones, sponges, worms and bryozoans traveling together!
Purple and Pink splotches- Sea Anemone
Lichen or Moss-like patches- bryozoan
White Worm Tubes on legs- polychaete serpulidae
These anemones of the deep roam around on the calmer muddy bottom, as opposed to the intertidal species we're more accustomed to, and this one wandered into our fish trap. It was not comfortable enough to display it's beautiful tentacles for us, but you can just barely see them curled inside of it's vaselike protective shape.
Hermit Crabs Paguroideac
Tiny, cute, & tough. These little scavengers always seem to put themselves where the action is. Once they find the shell they call home, their bodies take the shape of it. When they eventually outgrow their shell they find and move into a new, roomier shell. Notice the screw head to the left for size perspective.
Not Pictured (Yet...)
Brittle Stars ophiuroids
Fragile Pink Sea Urchin Strongylocentrotus fragilis
Gooseneck Barnacles Pollicipes Polymerus
And others yet to be discovered...
Please let us know if you have any further knowledge or comments on the species pictured above!
All of these critters are released live after surfacing