What kind of fish is this, caught in Cape Coral, Florida?

What kind of fish is this?

It was caught in the canal in Cape Coral, Florida. The canals are clean brackish water - a mix of saltwater from the Gulf of Mexico and freshwater from the Caloosahatchee River - but the canal where the fish was caught has gulf access so it should be saltwater. The fish was about a foot long, a little less maybe.

It looks like the spotfin jawfish, Opistognathus robinsi. The larger ocellated spot on the foredorsal fin is a key identifier for this species. They are not so common in Florida, but do inhabit sandy bottoms, such as canals. Are you sure about the length? It looks about 5 inches from the photo provided, when compared with the the size of the hole on the dock. This species grows to about 5 to 6 inches.

See here for more info.

What kind of fish is this?

The fish was caught in south west florida in cape coral. Around 6-8 inches long, kind of shped like a grouper or sucker, but has two rows of teeth. What is it? It was caught in brackish water.any ideas?

Maybe a local fisherman can identify this fish.

The guy I was fishing with would be considered a local fisherman and he had never seen anything like it, I HAVE a video that shows the entire fish really well but idk how to post it.

I post to you tube and copy the link here.

If this was caught on the West Coast, I would think it was a sculpins. Where you are there thousands of species of fish.

No it is similar to a sculpins but it's not that, and yeah haha it's like finding a needle in a haystack tryin to find a fish here

This appears to be a Gulf Toadfish (Opsanus Beta) and has very venomous spines, wounds are very painful and may swell (I have not seen any accounts of stings doing any damage but you should probably double check). They are edible, although not commonly eaten, although you should probably double check.

Up in the east coast of Newbrunswick, they have a very similar looking salt water fish - a lyng cod

Caught the same thing today. What is this??

It could be a Stargrazer, I never saw one till two years ago. Since than I have caught three, and my daughter one. When I caught the first one I thought it was an Oystercracker. A fishermen near me saw me catch it and came over. He told me not to touch the back of it, turns out it gives off an electrical shock. They bury themselves in the sand (eyes on top of their head) and attack their pray. I was told they are or taste like Monk fish. For some reason I can't add a photo, of the one my daughter caught. Goggle Stargrazer.

Amazonian “river monster” discovered in the Caloosahatchee River

What can grow up to 10 feet long, weigh 200 pounds and is armored like a tank? The Amazonian river monster, the Arapaima.

So what does a monster fish that lives half a world away have to do with Florida? The Arapaima could actually be closer than you think.

Over the weekend, a woman walking through Cape Coral’s Jaycee Park came across an enormous dead fish that puzzled her.

She first noticed the fish floating in the water along the Caloosahatchee River, but it wasn’t until she snapped a photo of it with her phone and posted it to Facebook that someone was able to identify it.

“It was bigger than my 7-year-old. I thought that is nothing I’ve ever seen before. It was kind of white with a pinkish tail.” said Leah Getts, from Cape Coral. “It had a huge kind of open bass looking kind of mouth. It didn’t look like anything I had heard of or seen before.”

The floating carcass still had a hook in its mouth, resembling nothing she’d ever seen, but it wasn’t long before sleuths on social media had figured it out.


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“They were saying it was an Arapaima, and I looked at pictures and it was dead on.” she added.

Courtesy: Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute

That answer only brought more questions, like how a 5 and a half foot long amazon river predator ended up in the Caloosahatchee River.

John Cassani, an Ecologist for the Calusa Waterkeeper worries that the dead fish could mean there are more.

“The primary concern with Arapaima is that they would become established and reproduce naturally.” Cassani said.

He said as South Florida’s climate warms, the zones in which arapaima can live continues to creep north, despite an FWC risk study saying our waters are too cold to support them.

“This risk study done on Arapaima was done close to 10 years ago.” Cassani said.

This could potentially open the door for an aggressive, dangerous fish to wreak havoc on Florida’s Freshwater Ecosystems.

“Obviously a big aggressive predatory fish is popular amongst anglers. But the risk to the ecosystem far outweighs the recreational value of the species.”

Atlantic Sharpnose Shark

Long and flattened snout white trailing edge of pectoral black-edged dorsal and caudal fins, especially when young may have small whitish spots on sides furrows in lips at the corners of the mouth outer margin of teeth notched second dorsal fin originates over middle of anal fin brown to olive-gray in color with white inderside slender body.

Where Found:

INSHORE species, even found in surf also common in bays and estuaries adults occur OFFSHORE.

A small species, 2 – 4 feet.


Mature adults between 2 and 2.75 feet long 4-7 newborns range from 9 to 14 inches in length adults feed on small fish and crustaceans.

Florida’s New Invasive Species Is A 10-Foot Long River Monster

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami/AP) &mdash Florida is already in a battle with dangerous and invasive species like the Burmese python, green iguana and lionfish and now there’s a new predator in the state called the arapaima. It is a fish that can grow up to 10 feet long and weigh hundreds of pounds.

A dead one recently washed ashore in Cape Coral’s Jaycee Park along the Caloosahatchee River, which runs from Lake Okeechobee west to the Gulf of Mexico.

The arapaima is native to the Amazon River in South America and is one of the world’s largest predatory fish. Its scales are said to be as impenetrable as armor. And it’s ugly, at least to most people.

“I think it’s kind of cool,” said Captain Josh Constantine, who has been fishing the waters near the Caloosahatchee River for more than 20 years, and has been a guide for his business, Caloosahatchee Cowboys Charters, for more than a decade.

Fishermen hold an arapaima, also known as pirarucu in the Western Amazon region near Volta do Bucho in the Ituxi Reserve on September 20, 2017.
(Photo credit: CARL DE SOUZA/AFP via Getty Images)

Constantine said the arapaima might be the closest thing to a tarpon, which is a big, athletic fish native to Florida’s waters and a popular species for game fishermen. Like tarpon, Arapaima are capable of jumping out of the water for food and their prey include small mammals, lizards, birds and other fish.

But Constantine is also aware of the reality of the arapaima’s appearance in Florida, which was confirmed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

“I can’t imagine it’s good for our ecosystem,” he said.

And he’s right. The arapaima, because of its varied and voracious appetite, is a threat to native Florida wildlife. It is also capable of producing hundreds of thousands of eggs during its lifetime.

But that apparently hasn’t happened here.

“There is no evidence that arapaima have reproduced in the wild in Florida,” the FWC said in an email.

John Cassani, head of Calusa Waterkeeper, a nonprofit group dedicated to protecting waterways in the region, agreed, writing in an email that it “would seem unlikely as sightings are rare and this one may be unique to the Caloosahatchee River.”

The FWC said the arapaima habitats are limited by their sensitivity to cool water &mdash they can even die in water that’s 60 degrees or colder. However, they could survive in the waters of extreme southeast Florida.

Dr. Katherine Galloway, a biologist at Nicholls State University and an expert on lionfish, said arapaima lay eggs in February, March and April, so it potentially could take them longer to establish a presence.

Lionfish were quick to establish an invasive presence in Florida, she said, because females can produce egg masses every four days and can release up to two million eggs a year.

But Galloway had an ominous warning about the arapaima. If a large, reproductively active one was found, “there is likely more in Florida,” she said.

Galloway said lionfish feed on commercially and economically important fish, something that affects with diving tourism. That said that like lionfish, arapaima feed on commercially important fish, increasing their threat to the economy.

State wildlife officials ask anyone who catches or sees an arapaima or other nonnative freshwater fish species in the wild to call the Exotic Species Hotline at 1-888-IVE-GOT1 (1-888-483-4681), report it through the FWC’s I’ve Got 1 App or report it online at I’

The FWC said to make sure to take a photo, if possible, and provide the location, date and time of the sighting. Non-native fish should be humanely killed and never released alive back into the water.

How the dead arapaima got to the Caloosahatchee River remains a mystery. There’s a chance someone had it as a pet and released it into the wild.

Or, Constantine suggests, “someone could have brought it here already dead and let it go just to start some (expletive). There’s no telling. We don’t know.”

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Harvest and possession has been prohibited in both state and federal waters off Florida since 1990.

  • Must be immediately returned to the water free, alive and unharmed.
  • Photographs can be taken but only during the active act of release. Photographs or any other activities such as measuring the fish should not delay release in any way.
  • Large goliath groupers should be left in the water during release. The skeletal structure of large goliath grouper cannot adequately support their weight out of the water without some type of damage. If a large goliath is brought on-board a vessel or out of the water, it is likely to sustain some form of internal injury and therefore be considered harvested.
  • Removing smaller goliath groupers from the water to remove hooks is not necessarily a bad practice, but this process must be done with care, using proper fish handling techniques, and the fish must be returned to the water as expeditiously as possible.

Health alert issued for Caloosahatchee River – Franklin Locks

The Florida Department of Health in Lee County has issued a Health Alert for the presence of harmful blue-green algal toxins in Caloosahatchee River – Franklin Locks. This is in response to a water sample taken on June 7. The public should exercise caution in and around Caloosahatchee River – Franklin Locks.

Residents and visitors are advised to take the following precautions:

Do not drink, swim, wade, use personal watercraft, water ski or boat in waters where there is a visible bloom.

Wash your skin and clothing with soap and water if you have contact with algae or discolored or smelly water.

Keep pets away from the area. Waters where there are algae blooms are not safe for animals. Pets and livestock should have a different source of water when algae blooms are present.

Do not cook or clean dishes with water contaminated by algae blooms. Boiling the water will not eliminate the toxins.

Eating fillets from healthy fish caught in freshwater lakes experiencing blooms is safe. Rinse fish fillets with tap or bottled water, throw out the guts and cook fish well.

Do not eat shellfish in waters with algae blooms.

What is blue-green algae?

Blue-green algae are a type of bacteria that is common in Florida’s freshwater environments. A bloom occurs when rapid growth of algae leads to an accumulation of individual cells that discolor water and often produce floating mats that emit unpleasant odors.

Some environmental factors that contribute to blue-green algae blooms are sunny days, warm water temperatures, still water conditions and excess nutrients. Blooms can appear year-round but are more frequent in summer and fall. Many types of blue-green algae can produce toxins.

Is it harmful?

Blue-green algae blooms can impact human health and ecosystems, including fish and other aquatic animals.

For additional information on potential health effects of algal blooms, visit

Find current information about Florida’s water quality status and public health notifications for harmful algal blooms and beach conditions by visiting Protecting Florida Together is the state’s joint effort to provide statewide water quality information to prioritize environmental transparency and commitment to action.

What do I do if I see an algal bloom?

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection collects and analyzes algal bloom samples. To report a bloom to DEP, call the toll-free hotline at 855-305-3903 or report online.

To report fish kills, contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute at 1-800-636-0511.

Report symptoms from exposure to a harmful algal bloom or any aquatic toxin to the Florida Poison Information Center, call 1-800-222-1222 to speak to a poison specialist immediately.

Contact your veterinarian if you believe your pet has become ill after consuming or having contact with blue-green algae contaminated water.

If you have other health questions or concerns about blue-green algae blooms, call the Florida Department of Health in Lee County at (239) 690-2100.

South American “River Monster” found along Caloosahatchee River

Florida has dinosaur-like gators, invasive lizards, record-breaking Burmese Pythons, and just about anything else you can think of in its diverse ecological system. As if that weren’t enough to cause residents and tourists to worry when visiting their favorite state parks and attractions, there’s one more creature to add to the list—the Arapaima.

Discovered over the weekend, a Florida woman was walking through Cape Coral’s Jaycee Park when she noticed a large, odd-looking, dead fish washed up along the rocks of the Caloosahatchee River.

“It was bigger than my 7-year-old. I thought, ‘that is nothing I’ve ever seen before,’” said Cape Coral resident Leah Getts. “It was kind of white with a pinkish tail. It had a huge kind of open bass looking kind of mouth. It didn’t look like anything I had heard of or seen before.”

Courtesy: NBC-2 News

But when and doubt, take a picture and post it on social media if you don’t know what it is. And sure enough, social media users were quick to identify the Amazon-based Arapaima.

“They were saying it was an Arapaima, and I looked at pictures, and it was dead on,” added Getts.

The Arapaima fits the Florida story bill. If you’ve ever seen the Discovery Channel’s show “River Monsters,” then there’s a chance that the creature may not be so unfamiliar to you.

Getts first noticed the dead fish carcass floating along the water’s surface before snapping the photo and sharing it on social media. She noticed that the strange fish still had a hook in its mouth, signaling that it had potentially been the victim of someone’s recreational fishing adventure. Fishing at Jaycee Park is only allowed from the shoreline.

But after the photo was posted and users realized it was a “river monster,” it only posed more questions, like how it got to the Florida river.

“The primary concern with Arapaima is that they would become established and reproduce naturally,” said John Cassani, an Ecologist for the Calusa Waterkeeper.

Much like any invasive species, the Arapaima would thrive in the warm weather climate of Florida’s ecosystem. The aggressive and predatory freshwater species would pose a number of threats to the ecosystem if they were to spread naturally beyond containment.

“Obviously, a big aggressive predatory fish is popular amongst anglers. But the risk to the ecosystem far outweighs the recreational value of the species,” added Cassani.

According to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, the Arapaima is potentially the largest freshwater fish in the world with a growth potential of up to 440 pounds (200 kilograms) and 10 feet (3 meters) in length. While that is an extreme case in size, they are traditionally found around half that weight and about 7-8 feet in length, putting it closer to the one found along the Caloosahatchee.

Are you interested in Florida’s nature? For stories like this and much more: Florida Insider is dedicated to educating, entertaining, and informing its readers about everything Florida. Easy to read content at the palm of your hands and covering the stories that matter.

What kind of fish is this, caught in Cape Coral, Florida? - Biology

Posted by Daniel Eggertsen on April 12, 2010 in Uncategorized · Comments Off

I’m taking a holiday to Cape Coral Florida in late February and stayin in a villa on a Canal, it is a saltwater canal. Can I fish right out of the canal, what should I use for bait and equipment and what species are good for eating or should I just release everything I catch?

Cape Coral’s canals are full of fish. I have fished the system quite extensively you are capable of catching quite the variety of fish of all sizes. When fishing the canals stay close to the seawalls and around docks. There are many more fish there than in the center. Also canals closer to the Caloosahatchee River tend to produce more than those more inland. Some fish you will likely catch include: 1) Mangrove Snappers – Are the most common fish and generally in the 6″-14″ size range. If you are fortunate to catch enough keeper size fish they are great eating. Use live or freshly killed shrimp for bait. 2) Jack Crevalle – Pound for pound the best fighting fish around. This big round fish will put up an awesome fight. Typical fish caught in the canals weigh between 2 and 25 pounds. I caught a 25 pound Jack this past summer in a saltwater lake in Cape Coral that ripped off over 150 yards of 6 pound test line. Use large shrimp or small pinfish for bait. Not a good tasting fish. 3) Blacktip Sharks – The canals are full of juvenile sharks in the two to four foot size range. They can be caught on just about any live fish as bait. Good for eating only if cleaned right away after catching. 4) Redfish – Great fighting fish that will try to cut the line and any surrounding docks or other obstructions. Great table fare. 5) Snook – Similar to Redfish in most respects – also great eating. These represent the five main species caught in the canals. I have also caught large Goliath Grouper, Ladyfish, small Tarpon and many other species.

Fishes in the Fresh Waters of Florida Gallery

This searchable gallery includes 220 entries of Florida freshwater fishes, each with a live image, key characteristics for field identification and habitat description.

The Flagfish, included in this gallery, is one of three freshwater species native only to Florida. Florida Museum photo by Zachary Randall

The information is based on the “Fishes in the Fresh Waters of Florida” guide and atlas written by Florida Museum ichthyologists and published by the University Press of Florida in 2018. This book is available for purchase on the UPF website, and includes dot distribution maps and comparisons to similar species.

Use the search field below for specific inquiries, or sort fish based on families, key features, region, status or specific drainages in which species are found. Or, browse all species below.

All images subject to copyright. Non-Florida Museum photographers must be contacted directly for permission to use their images.

Watch the video: Cape Coral Florida 4k Video (January 2022).