is on the Norwegian web site of Frank Emil Moen.
Norwegian Marine ***
Eelpout, Viviparous Blenny
UK Record Weights from rod/line:
13 oz 368g Redcar Shore, Yorkshire
H Hanison 1982
Norway: 560g Nevlunghavn, 17.01.88
MAFF Minimum Size: Shore: Boat:
Elongate eel-like fish with a broad head and front half of the body (tapers towards the tail fin), and a large wide mouth. Eyes at the top of the head. Large pectoral (side) fins. Single dorsal fin runs almost the length of the fish.
Brown with variable darker patterns. Sometimes very dark and others are yellowish. The pectoral fins are reported to be red in the male during the breeding season, but I have not seen this or any photographs.
Mucus covered skin with a few small scales.
NB: In at least one popular book the Butterfish, Pholis gunnellus, has been wrongly labelled as Zoarces viviparous and this has caused confusion amongst divers because the Butterfish is an abundant fish with a wider range but otherwise a very similar distribution as the Eelpout.
Similar species: Vahl's Eelpout Lycodes vahlii, Esmark's Eelpout Lycodes esmarkii, Sar's Eelpout Lyenchelys sarsiii.
These three species in the same family Zoarcidae are found to the north of the British Isles, but probably occur around the Shetland Isles.
Viviparous (rare amongst British marine fish). Mating occurs in the autumn (August-September) and the eggs hatch out about two months later. (They may hatch in 4 weeks - two different references, it may also depend on temperature. AH).
Bottom dweller. Muddy and rocky benthic from rocky shores, estuaries to about 40 metres.
Small crustaceans (?). Exact diet not known at the time of writing.
North Sea, Baltic, NE Atlantic (off Scandindavia). Rare at the eastern end of the English Channel. One Shorewatch Report from Dover. On the shore off the East Anglian coast, but frequency unclear because of misidentifications.
All reports to the Shorewatch Biological Recording Scheme are very welcome.
The Environment Agency monitors fish populations
in estuaries in NE England and Zoarces regularly turns up in trawls
from the Tyne,Wear and Tees. - albeit in small numbers. We believe
that they only occur in significant numbers on the east coast from the