Monday March 10, 2014
Strange Fish Found on Beach Near SeasideSalem-News.com
The extremely rare fish's name stems from Indian lore when it was believed that the King of the Salmon led the smaller species back to the rivers to spawn.
(SEASIDE) - There was a strange find on the Oregon coast this weekend, not too far from Seaside. Keith Chandler and Tiffany Boothe, of the Seaside Aquarium, say they got a tip about a strange fish that washed up at Sunset Beach, just south of Astoria and it led to a most unusual discovery.
Boothe and Chandler went to the beach and discovered a very rare find: a fish called King-of-the-Salmon (Trachipterus Altivelis), which normally lives around 1600 feet under the sea.
“He belongs to the family of Ribbonfish,” Boothe said. “There are four other species of Ribbonfish along our coast, but the King-of-the-Salmon is the largest; growing up to and possibly exceeding six feet. This one measured almost exactly 6 feet. They can be found down as far as 1600 feet from Alaska to Baja and along the Coast of Chile.”
Chandler said this was the first time he’d ever seen this in his 27 years of marine science career. He said he did not know what conditions could’ve brought the creature up this far above its normal environment. “The name, King-of-the-Salmon, originated from an Indian legend which describes this fish as the 'king' who leads the salmon back to the rivers to spawn,” Boothe said. “They are rarely seen, but fisherman have been known to catch them both in nets and on line (though it is not too common). The adults eat squid and juvenile rockfish.”
Another interesting note from the coast this weekend is glowing phytoplankton that has been making itself seen on the beaches at night.
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Visitors in Newport have seen the phenomenon, which is visible as tiny, faint bluish sparks in wet sand or pools of water that have been standing some time. They are created when you move your foot along the sand, kick the sand or pound your foot in the sand or in those pools of water.
This sighting – unusual for the Oregon coast, but more common in warmer waters of the world – is created by dinoflagellates, a form of phytoplankton which is bioluminescent, not unlike fireflies.
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