We have been seeing some questions on Facebook about fish identification for this time of year and I thought I would take it a step back and make sure we are all speaking the same language so I hope you have your #2 pencils – Pop Quiz Time!
There is a diagram of a fish below with different labels to the arrows and I am going to run down below what they are. So don’t scroll down until you have your guesses in. Keep your score and find out how good you are at the bottom. Feel free to post if your proud or learned something new.
Scroll for answers
1. Pectoral Fins
For the most part, these steer the depth of the fish. If you see a fish fly out of the water like some of our favorite saltwater biggies or our favorite lake bass, they are using this to aim for the sky.
2. Pelvic Fins
If you said Ventral, you also get the score here! Whichever you call it, these little guys are going to help them make quick adjustments in a wide range of directions. Think about when you are in front of the canoe doing a draw stroke.
3. Dorsal Fin
Like the keel on a boat, this is going to keep you upright. pretty simple.
4. Adipose Fin
Okay, so maybe you didn’t get this one, don’t be hard on yourself as this is a bit of mystery still. We are not really sure what purpose it serves, but what we do know is that hatcheries have been removing them for years to mark fish that are released into the wild. We know that when removed, the fish is more active with a 8% higher tailbeat rate. Recently though there are some studies that suppose this is some sort of antenna, like at the top of a submarine that is taking some readings. Tied into the neural network, it could be how they detect pressure and temperature.
5. Anal Fin
Unlike the dorsal fin which is pretty static and usually contains a few bones, the Anal fin also stabilizes but is active in adjusting the vertical alignment of the fish.
6. Caudal Fin
If you said Tail, you still get the point, bonus if you had the scientific name though. This is 100% propulsion! The true outboard motors of the fish help the sailfish fly and the salmon ladder home.
So how did you do?
1-3 correct: Developing Angler. Hopefully, this helps fill in some of the gaps next time you pull one out of the water.
4-5 correct: Angler. You are smarter than a 5th grader, these are pretty tough and even if you fished all your life, these terms don’t come up often and the next time you are teaching a young fisherman about the fish, you’re going to really help them be pretty savvy.
6+ correct: Ichthyologist: Yeah I don’t know what that means either, but they tell me these are the only people that know all the terms as it’s kind of what they do as fish scientists. If you did get them all and don’t have a degree in this, you might start thinking about a career change.