Monday, November 24, 2014

Wildlife Quiz - Harbor Pollock

The American “Harbor” Pollock The American “Harbor” Pollock (Pollachius virens) inhabits the cool continental waters on both sides of the North Atlantic, spanning from Nova Scotia to Chesapeake Bay and throughout the North Sea, English Channel, and even into the Bay of Biscay.

In the Gulf of Maine, fishermen catch large numbers of Pollock to be used both for bait as well as human consumption. Pollock meat has a sweet, mild fish taste reminiscent of haddock, thus making it a favorite among fishermen.

 Pollock posses plump bodies, pointed noses, projected lower jaws, forked tails, and a handsome greenish hue that fades to smoky gray on each side below the lateral line. In the open ocean, Pollock routinely grow to a length of two and a half feet and an average weight of 20 pounds, with some individuals reaching mammoth proportions in excess of 40 pounds. Immature Pollock inhabit the shallow more sheltered areas around docks, piers and other natural and manmade structures to escape predators. These smaller juveniles rarely exceed 10 inches and tend to stay in the more confined habitat of Maine’s local harbors till they are large enough to survive the rigors of the open ocean.

Pollock tend to use its keen sight rather than scent to capture its prey and fishermen target Pollock with shinny silver lures to monopolize on this fact. Pollock feed chiefly on shrimp and small fish, such as Cod, Haddock and Halibut. Voracious feeders, biologists once examined a nine inch long Pollock and found its stomach contained seventy-seven herring averaging two and a half inches long!

Wildlife Quiz Questions: 
1. What is the primary habitat of the Pollock?
2. Are Pollock a game species pursued by fishermen for food?
3. What are the distinguishing features of a Pollock?
4. What is the average length and weight of a Pollock inhabiting the open ocean?
5. How big do “harbor” Pollock tend to grow?
6. Which do Pollock tend to use more when hunting for food, their sense of sight or smell?
7. What do Pollock mostly feed on?
8. How many two and a half inch long herring were once found in the stomach of a nine-inch long Pollock?

Wildlife Quiz Answers:
1. The Pollock prefers to inhabit the cool continental waters on both sides of the North Atlantic, spanning from Nova Scotia to Chesapeake Bay and throughout the North Sea, English Channel, and even into the Bay of Biscay.
2. Yes, Pollock meat has a sweet, mild fish taste reminiscent of haddock, thus making it a favorite among fishermen.
3. Pollock posses plump bodies, pointed noses, projected lower jaws, forked tails, and a handsome greenish hue that fades to smoky gray on each side below the lateral line.
4. In the open ocean, Pollock routinely grow to two and a half feet in length and an average weight of 20 pounds.
5. Harbor Pollock rarely exceed 10 inches, tending to stay in the more confined habitat of Maine’s local harbors until they reach a size where then can survive the rigors of the open ocean.
6. When hunting for food, Pollock tend to rely more on their sense of sight than their sense of smell.
7. Pollock feed chiefly on shrimp and small fish, such as Cod, Haddock and Halibut.
8. Seventy-seven two and a half inch long herring were once found in the stomach of a nine-inch long Pollock.

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