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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.

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Please provide approximate size if possible. Also, please comment whether this fish is fresh water or saltwater, since the canal is fed by the Caloosahatchee River. Thanks $\endgroup$ – theforestecologist Jan 3 '17 at 22:02
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    $\begingroup$ The canals are clean brackish water (a mix of saltwater from the Gulf of Mexico and freshwater from the Caloosahatchee River bu the canal has gulf access so it should be saltwater, the fish was about a foot long. $\endgroup$ – johan Jan 4 '17 at 1:24
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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.

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks a lot, that should be it, you are right about the size. $\endgroup$ – johan Jan 5 '17 at 23:21
  • $\begingroup$ Hi @johan, thank you for your reply. Jawfish are pretty amazing fish and many species keep their fertilized eggs stored in their large mouths until they hatch! If this or any other future answer has solved your question please consider accepting it by clicking the check-mark. This indicates to the wider community that you've found a solution and gives some reputation to both the answerer and yourself. There is no obligation to do this. $\endgroup$ – Sudachi Jan 6 '17 at 15:45

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