Early Closure Alert!
The Aquarium will close two hours early on Wednesday, December 24. Last entry at 3pm; exhibits close at 4pm. The Aquarium will be closed on December 25.

Puget Sound Fish

Get to know the fascinating fish of Puget Sound

Kids looking at one of the many Puget Sound fish tanks..

The waters of the Pacific Northwest are home to a tremendous number of fascinating fish – with equally captivating names! In this exhibit, you’ll see creatures such as grunt sculpins, Pacific spiny lumpsuckers, midshipmen fish, decorated warbonnets and more. It features three habitats commonly found in Puget Sound: eelgrass communities, deep sandy bottoms and rocky areas.

Take photos of the colorful juvenile rockfish – and yourselves! – at our unique see-through tank. Steps away, be enthralled by bizarre-looking Pacific spiny lumpsuckers as they show off their round bodies with suction cups for grasping onto eelgrass in heavy currents. You’ll also learn that the Aquarium was awarded the prestigious Bean Award by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association for its research and successful rearing of these charming fish.

In our eelgrass exhibit, you’ll find gunnels and pricklebacks living in old bottles and other crevices; camouflaging pipefish and tubesnouts that are incredibly well adapted to life in their environment; and sticklebacks that are comfortable in either fresh or salt water. You’ll also discover why the eelgrass community is newly recognized as important in the ecology of Puget Sound and is being protected by regional and federal governments.

Don’t miss the fish found in deeper waters – including the rare ratfish, split-nose rockfish, sound and light-emitting midshipmen fish and armored sturgeon poachers.

 
>> ENVIRONMENTS REPRESENTED
Puget Sound

 

>> MARINE CREATURES YOU ARE LIKELY TO SEE IN THIS EXHIBIT

STURGEON POACHER

Sturgeon poachers are also
known as alligatorfishes,
starsnouts, hooknoses,
and rockheads.

BLENNIES

Blennies are typically small
with  eel-like bodies, blunt
heads and big eyes
and mouths.

DECORATED
WARBONNETS

The large eyes and thick
lips make this fish look
like a cartoon character
or circus clown.

MIDSHIPMAN FISH

Male midshipman fish hum
songs to attract mates
similar to birds and frogs.

PACIFIC SPINY
LUMPSUCKERS

Yes, that's their name!
They also have pelvic
fins modified to support
a large adhesive sucking
disc on their belly.

PIPEFISH

In pipefish, the males get pregnant.
They can be very choosy
about mates and will
even abort embryos of
"ugly" mates.

PRICKLEBACKS

Pricklebacks are elongated mostly
scaleless fishes with large
pectoral fins. They've
been called elusive,
slithery and ugly as sin.

RATFISH

  Ratfish are usually not too
approachable during
the day, but at night they
will often come right
up to a bright light.

STICKLEBACKS

Male sticklebacks build
elaborate, golf ball-
sized nests.

TUBESNOUTS

Schools of tubesnouts
are often seen around
docks and pilings
snapping up plankton
with their tiny mouths.

. . . AND MUCH MORE!