Sea Raven (Hemitripterus americanus) Family Cottidae, Sculpins
Common names: raven, sea raven
Description: Sea ravens may vary in color from blood red to reddish purple to yellow brown. Their belly is usually a shade of yellow. They have a large head and a stout, tapering body. Distinctive tabs of flesh hang from their head and lower jaw. A curious ragged layer of skin is also present on the first dorsal fin. Their pectoral fins are large and fanlike and they have a small tail fin. These fish have a broad mouth that is lined with several rows of very sharp teeth. Sea ravens often grow to be 18 to 20 inches in length.
Where found: inshore and offshore
Similar Gulf of Maine species: none
Remarks: Sea ravens frequent rocky or hard substrates at depths ranging from 6 feet to 300 feet. They are present throughout the water column and are considered voracious feeders. Their diet includes a variety of mollusks, crustaceans and fish. Sea ravens will take almost any bait. They are edible, but few are kept because of their ugly appearance.
Fish Illustrations by: Roz Davis Designs, Damariscotta, ME (207) 5632286
Drawings provided courtesy of the Maine Department of Marine Resources Recreational Fisheries program and the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund.