Lambert catches sea robin

Rare species in Newfoundland waters

Clayton Hunt
Published on September 26, 2013

Chesley Lambert caught a very rare fish in Newfoundland waters when he was scallop fishing in Connaigre Bay. The sea robin, while found in warm waters around the world, is more prevalent off the coast of New England than in Atlantic Canadian waters.


Clayton Hunt photo

Chesley Lambert, a fish harvester from Harbour Breton, caught a fish that is very rare in Newfoundland waters, while harvesting scallops in Connaigre Bay on September 25.

Lambert saw something different in his scallop rake which turned out to be a sea robin, a fish that is most common in New England waters in this part of the world.

Lambert, who has been fishing for about 35 years, said that he has never seen a fish like this in the waters off the south coast of the province.

According to Wikipedia, sea robins get their name because of their pectoral fins. When sea robins swim, their pectoral fins will open, spread out and look very similar to a bird's wings.

The bottom two or three sections of the pectoral fins stretch out from the body and form separate little feelers. These feelers are used to locate mollusks, crustaceans and other bottom dwelling prey. These fins are also used to help sea robins move along ocean bottoms.

Sea robins are bottom feeders that live in depths of up to 660 feet. They prefer bottoms that are sandy and smooth, and are rarely seen in rocky or muddy bottoms. When they are spooked, they will hide by burying themselves in mud. The only thing that is visible when they are buried is their eyes. In North America, the northern sea robin and the common sea robin are prevalent in the ocean waters of southern New England.