Family Trachipteridae



Selected Characters: Body elongate; dorsal fin long, highest anteriorly; caudal fin at right angle to body, with lower lobe absent; pelvic fins long in juveniles, reduced or absent in adults; mouth small; eyes large.

This is a family of striking, elongate fishes widely distributed in all oceans of the world except in the Antarctic. The development of these fishes involves great changes in appearance because they undergo allometric growth, with different body parts growing at different rates. There are about nine species in this family, one of which is found in Puget Sound. The King-of-the-Salmon reaches about 175 cm in standard length and is the largest member of the family. It is usually found in deep water and feeds on a variety of invertebrates and fishes. It swims by undulating the dorsal fin. The common name of this species comes from an American Indian legend in which this fish leads salmon on their migratory journey. This species is not commonly recorded in Puget Sound.

Puget Sound Species

Trachipterus altivelis King-of-the-Salmon