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This book is a given for recreational and commercial fishermen as well as anyone who loves the outdoors! Since most anglers identify their fish by reviewing illustrations rather than using scientific keys, the authors have succeeded in making fishing easier by providing superb illustrations and detailed diagnostics for fish identification. A valuable, one-stop reference tool for everyday anglers, fisheries experts, biologists, and outdoors writers, this guide includes intensively researched information on 207 species of saltwater fish, essential data on each speciesí habitat, identification, typical size, and food value. By Jerald Horst & Mike Lane, illustrated by Duane Raver. 207 species.

Toadfish, Gulf
Opsanus beta

Illustrations by: Duane Raver     Click image for large version.
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Family:  Toadfishes  (Batrachoididae)
Toadfish, Gulf resources :  
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Other Names :Oyster Dog, Dogfish, Mudfish, Oysterfish, Gulf Toadfish
Range & Habitat :Gulfwide, on oyster reefs and rocky areas in bays and shallow nearshore waters. In offshore waters it is replaced by the leopard toadfish, Opsanus pardus, which prefers reef areas.
Identification & Biology :This fish has a broad, flat head, gaping mouth, and bulging toad-like eyes. The pectoral fins are broadly rounded and the pelvic fins are located ahead of the pectorals, under the throat. Color is generally dark brown with lighter bars on the sides, compared to the leopard toadfish which has a light background covered with brown, dark, camouflage-like mottling. In spite of their sinister appearance, neither species is venomous and both may be safely handled. Toadfish lay adhesive eggs on a hard surface in a nest site located in some sort of cavity. Both species are bottom dwellers.
Size :Under 1 foot in length.
Food Value :None
Description by: Jerald Horst, Associate Professor, Fisheries - LSU AgCenter

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