Species #81 — Whitespotted Greenling

Though not as common as Kelp Greenling, Whitespotted Greenling do appear with some frequency along Oregon’s Central Coast.

Species: Whitespotted Greenling (Hexagrammos stelleri)
Location: Yaquina Bay, Newport, OR
Date: November 21, 2016

I’ve had better days fishing the hundreds of docks in Newport, but this day wasn’t half bad.

Since I normally go there to target Striped Seaperch for the table, anything else is just a bonus.

Rarely do I fish this area without catching at least one or two bonus species and that day was no different.

When I first pulled up a greenling, I assumed it was the significantly more common Kelp Greenling I’d caught dozens of times, but having just reviewed fish field guides for the Pacific Coast, I realized upon closer inspection it was a Whitespotted Greenling.

This species doesn’t grow as large, isn’t as common, and up until that moment, I’d never even heard of one being caught in Oregon. That’s not to say they aren’t caught with some frequency, but since the Oregon Fishing Regulations don’t picture them, I assume the Whitespotted Greenling is commonly dismissed as a small Kelp Greenling when anglers pull one up.

Whitespotted Greenling have much more white on their bodies and tend to have light-colored markings on their anal fin and face whereas Kelp Greenling have an overall darker complexion.
Kelp Greenling can have wide variability, especially between genders. This variability can include white spots, but they always have a darker overall complexion than Whitespotted Greenling with a dark anal fin and face.

***

The bite continued to be above average until something big made my line shake.

“That’s no greenling,” I said to the small contingent of onlookers, and the fight was on. This was going to be something good.

#SpeciesQuest #CaughtOvgard

Read the next entry in #SpeciesQuest here: Species #82 — Monkeyface Prickleback.