The original award-winning NEFSC FishFAQ, created in 1993, has been archived.
For current information, please see our new FAQ.

Why is fishing sometimes called angling?

You use a hook, or angle, to catch fish (as opposed to a net or your hands).

child holding fishing rod and fish

What are some confusing fish names?

Same fish with different names:

  Albacore ........ (Thunnus alalunga) longfin tuna, Tombo Ahi,
                          Ahi Palaha, white-meat tuna, albie
albacore tuna
  Bluefish ........ (Pomatomus saltatrix) tailor (Indo-Australia)
  Bluefin tuna ......... (Thunnus thynnus) albacore, horse mackerel
  Bonito .......... (Sarda) bonita, bone, bonehead, little tunny
  Dolphin ......... (Coryphaena hippuras) Dorado, Mahi Mahi
                          also Pompano dolphin (C. equiselis)
  Skipjack tuna ........ (Euthynnus) Aku, false albacore, bonito, 
                          little tunny, mackerel tuna
skipjack tuna
  Pacific jack mackerel  (Trachurus symmetricus, a jack not 
                          a mackerel) spanish jack, spanish 
                          mackerel, jack mackerel
  Yellowfin tuna ....... (Thunnus albacares) allison tuna, ahi(?)

  Chinook salmon ....... (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) King salmon, black
                          mouths, springers
  Coho salmon .......... (O. kisutch) silver salmon
  Pink salmon .......... (O. gorbuscha) humpback salmon
  Sockeye salmon ....... (O. nerka) blueback or red salmon
  Steelhead ....... (O. mykiss) a seagoing rainbow trout

  Rock cod ........ (Scorpaenidae) scorpionfish, 
                          rockfish, snapper
scorpion fish
  Striped bass ......... (Morone saxatilis) rockfish, 
                          rock bass, striper

  Cobia ...... (Rachycentron canadum) ling, lemonfish;
                           black kingfish (Indo-Australia)
  Ling ....... (Molva molva) ling cod
  Lingcod ......... (Ophiodon elongatus) ling
Different fish with same names:
  bluefin tuna .... bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus)
                    southern bluefin tuna (T. maccoyil)
  beluga .......... white whale
                    hausen sturgeon (Huso huso)
  dolphin ......... dorado / mahi mahi (Coryphaena hippuras)
                      also Pompano dolphin (C. equiselis)
  dorado .......... dolphin (Coryphaena hippuras)
                    a South American river fish (Salminus maxillosus)
  kingfish ........ king mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla)
                    whiting (Menticirrhus saxatilis)
  ling ............ ling cod (Molva molva)
                    lingcod (Ophiodon elongatus)
                    cobia (Rachycentron canadum)
  rockfish ........ rock cod (Scorpaenidae)
                    striped bass (Morone saxatilis)
  sheephead ....... California sheephead (Pimelometopon pulchrum), 
                    a wrasse sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus), 
                    a porgie a freshwater drum
sheepshead fish
  spanish mackerel  spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus maculatus)
                    spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus commerson, 
                    Indo-Aus) Pacific jack mackerel 
                    (Trachurus symmetricus)
  yellowtail ...... California yellowtail (Seriola dorsalis)
                    yellowtail snapper (Ocyurus chrysurus)
                    yellowtail flounder / rusty dab  
                    (Limanda ferruginea)

Will fish I catch and release die anyway?

If fishes caught with artificial lures such as flies are handled carefully, most will survive. Apparently, many factors influence survival after release. If the fish was already stressed before being caught, for instance because of spawning or high water temperatures, it is less likely to survive. If the fish is "played" for a long time and is exhausted before release, it is probably less likely to survive. If the fish is hooked through a sensitive area such as the gills or the eye, or is hooked deeply in the throat (which seems more likely when using bait), it is less likely to survive. If the fish is handled roughly, for example squeezed strongly or held out of water too long, it is also less likely to survive. If a fish seems to be having difficulty after unhooking, cradle it gently in the water until it regains its equilibrium and swims off under its own power.

What are factory ships?

A factory ship is a fishing vessel designed to catch huge amounts of fish. They have the ability to fillet and freeze fish immediately after they are caught. In an hour, one factory ship could haul in as much cod (around a hundred tons) as a typical boat of the sixteenth century could land in a season.
soviet factory ship soviet factory ship
Soviet factory ship with tenders
(The tenders would be considered large fishing vessels!)

Where can I find out about maintaining aquariums?

Try FINS Fish Information Service, an archive of information about aquariums. It covers both freshwater and marine, tropical and temperate.

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