NEWS Capital City Weekly Recently a scuba diver contacted NOAA Fisheries to assist in identifying an unusual creature she had spotted in Resurrection Bay, Alaska. She described it as a "mushroom puffball," soft to the touch like a nerf ball. What she had spotted was a lumpsucker. One species of lumpsucker you might spot in waters off Alaska is the Pacific spiny lumpsucker. A lot of people who see Pacific spiny lumpsuckers for the first time describe them as a ping-pong ball with fins. They are tiny and very inefficient swimmers, found most often in kelp or eelgrass beds attached to a rock or a log no deeper than 500 feet. They are quite common, ranging from the waters off the Washington coast, up around the arc of the Aleutian Islands, to the Asian mainland and the northern islands of Japan, and in the Bering Sea. A giant Pacific spiny lumpsucker is five inches long, but most are closer to an inch. Scuba divers are their biggest fans because the little fellows will eat right out of their hands.

NOAA Fisheries Fish Spotlight

A Pacific spiny lumpsucker.
Photo Courtesy Of Noaa
A Pacific spiny lumpsucker.
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