ratfish gathering question

Fish & Invertebrate sightings and descriptions, hosted by resident NWDC ID expert Janna Nichols (nwscubamom).
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ljjames
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ratfish gathering question

Post by ljjames » Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:55 pm

Hello diving hive mind..

Periodically over the past decade or so I've had the pleasure of diving within giant schools of ratfish. Unfortunately I can't remember when, it seems like it was late summer/fall but hopefully some of you have better memories (or log-books). Any help would be appreciated.
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H20doctor
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Re: ratfish gathering question

Post by H20doctor » Fri Jan 15, 2016 3:08 pm

Ratfish love the night time.. that is when I usually see them.... as for the large schools I only see that when I'm under a structure for example pilings or docks...
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ljjames
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Re: ratfish gathering question

Post by ljjames » Fri Jan 15, 2016 4:18 pm

Right, I know that one but a few times I've been out not under a pier with thousands of them...
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Gdog
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Re: ratfish gathering question

Post by Gdog » Fri Jan 15, 2016 4:47 pm

I can't say thousands, but we used to see quite a few all the time at three tree north a few years back. Maybe about 2 years ago they seem to have diminished substantially.

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Magoi
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Re: ratfish gathering question

Post by Magoi » Fri Jan 15, 2016 4:51 pm

The times I have seen them in large numbers (also under a pier) was in mid to late fall. They replaced crabs pretty much during the second part of the crab season at the Muk oil dock.
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ljjames
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Re: ratfish gathering question

Post by ljjames » Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:10 pm

Gdog, intersting observation!

I've seen the coalescing at Mukilteo, directly out from the silver cloud, but not under the pier. Ray and I were supposed to be scootering, but we couldn't because there were too many ratfish in the way...
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oldsalt
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Re: ratfish gathering question

Post by oldsalt » Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:10 am

The old ammo/fuel pier at Mukilteo was one of my most common dives. Ratfish were always there. At night it could become freaky. They would be abundant and frequently bumping in to me. I assumed they fed on the stuff that fell off the pilings: mussels, barnacles, tubeworms, etc. Why they would periodically amass at some place where there was no abundant food beats me. I read an article that stated they now have the largest biomass of any fish in Puget Sound.
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Re: ratfish gathering question

Post by ohopdiver » Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:17 am

I used to see hundreds under the Wells Point Dock. I thought it was in Fall but saw only a few last Nov 8.
Chris B. of Maritime Dock Society might tell you about Rat Fish there.

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Re: ratfish gathering question

Post by carlk3 » Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:49 am

The photo is great. (I've mentioned before that I love ratfish, but I think I only love them one at a time.)

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dwashbur
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Re: ratfish gathering question

Post by dwashbur » Sun Jan 17, 2016 6:38 pm

We once saw a huge group of them in a feeding frenzy on some tubeworms under the Edmonds Oil Dock. It was the most amazing thing I've ever seen on a dive.
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Re: ratfish gathering question

Post by ohopdiver » Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:55 am

My dive log comments for Point Wells dock:
Both mid day boat dives

June 3, 1999
"30-40 FT VIS, Many big Cabezon, Ratfish, no crabs"
My falable memory says there were hundreds of Ratfish.

Nov 8, 2015
"15 FT VIS, No mature fish, tons of fingerling Rockfish, Perch, Tubesnouts, very few barnacles on pileings, some Dungies, lots of Kelp crab"
My memory says there were but one or two Ratfish and I was looking out for them.

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