Monkeyface Prickleback: It’s a World Record!

Ever heard of a monkeyface prickleback? Neither had we until an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife press release showed up announcing what could be a new world record for the species.

And yes, we did do a quick Internet search to confirm that this oddly named fish was in fact a real species. It was caught on April Fool’s Day, and although Oregon DFW might not be known as zany pranksters, you can never be too careful.

Fishing from a jetty, Oregon angler Rebecca Jones caught her 4.8-pound monkeyface prickleback on a sand shrimp she had dug in hopes of catching a rockfish for dinner. She hadn’t ever seen one of these eel-like fish before, either. It was 28 inches long, and she weighed and measured it to submit to IGFA for record consideration. The current world record monkeyface prickleback of 3 pounds, 4 ounces was caught from Yaquina Bay, Oregon in 2008.

Often called monkeyface eels because of their eel-like bodies, they are a species of prickleback fish that live in Oregon’s rocky shores within a small, roughly 15-foot home range. These hardy fish can survive out of the water for at least 35 hours.

I’m totally calling my 9-year-old daughter a monkeyface prickleback, just to see her reaction.

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